SuperFreakonomics, Illustrated edition : Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance
The New York Times best-selling Freakonomics was a worldwide sensation, selling over four million copies in thirty-five languages and changing the way we look at the world. Now, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner return with SuperFreakonomics, and fans and newcomers alike will find that the freakquel is even bolder, funnier, and more surprising than the first.
Four years in the making, SuperFreakonomics asks not only the tough questions, but the unexpected ones: What's more dangerous, driving drunk or walking drunk? Why is chemotherapy prescribed so often if it's so ineffective? Can a sex change boost your salary?
SuperFreakonomics challenges the way we think all over again, exploring the hidden side of everything with such questions as:
* How is a street prostitute like a department-store Santa?
* Why are doctors so bad at washing their hands?
* How much good do car seats do?
* What's the best way to catch a terrorist?
* Did TV cause a rise in crime?
* What do hurricanes, heart attacks, and highway deaths have in common?
* Are people hard-wired for altruism or selfishness?
* Can eating kangaroo save the planet?
* Which adds more value: a pimp or a Realtor?
Levitt and Dubner mix smart thinking and great storytelling like no one else, whether investigating a solution to global warming or explaining why the price of oral sex has fallen so drastically. By examining how people respond to incentives, they show the world for what it really is - good, bad, ugly, and, in the final analysis, super freaky.
Freakonomics has been imitated many times over - but only now, with SuperFreakonomics, has it met its match.
Economist Levitt and journalist Dubner capitalize on their megaselling Freakonomics with another effort to make the dismal science go gonzo. Freaky topics include the oldest profession (hookers charge less nowadays because the sexual revolution has produced so much free competition), money-hungry monkeys (yep, that involves prostitution, too) and the dunderheadedness of Al Gore. There's not much substance to the authors' project of applying economics to all of life. Their method is to notice some contrarian statistic (adult seat belts are as effective as child-safety seats in preventing car-crash fatalities in children older than two), turn it into "economics" by tacking on a perfunctory cost-benefit analysis (seat belts are cheaper and more convenient) and append a libertarian sermonette (governments "tend to prefer the costly-and-cumbersome route"). The point of these lessons is to bolster the economist's view of people as rational actors, altruism as an illusion and government regulation as a folly of unintended consequences. The intellectual content is pretty thin, but it's spiked with the crowd-pleasing provocations--"'A pimp's services are considerably more valuable than a realtor's'" --that spell bestseller. (Nov.)
Showing 1-6 of the 6 most recent reviews
1 . Great Book
Posted November 28, 2010 by Mike , Temple TXAnother great book. Everyone should read this. This was as good if not better than the first one.
2 . Very Interesting
Posted February 08, 2010 by Mike , Chicago, ILThis was a great book. Definitely brought some interesting viewpoints to my attention regarding society these days. No outrageous claims or ideas, just cool facts and theories.
3 . I liked it ...
Posted January 19, 2010 by Speckles , AnonymousIt was a fun read.
4 . Freaky good
Posted December 08, 2009 by Kurt , ChicagoSummary:
Levitt and Dubner are at it again, delving into topics that most economists shy away from, including prostitution, and drunk walking.
As always, we get what we expect, the unexpected. Levitt draws correlations and conclusions we wouldn't think or wouldn't want to to think.
5 . Excellent
Posted November 25, 2009 by D , PhoenixI thoroughly enjoyed this book! It raises a lot of good points and deserves praise. If you liked the first book you will like this one too.
6 . Great Read
Posted November 02, 2009 by Fergie , EdmontonEvery part as good as the original Freakonomics.
November 09, 2009
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