Wednesday, April 20, 2005


I have been absolutely floored this week by Freakonomics, one of the most thought-provoking books I've read in years. It's written by Steven Levitt, one of the premier young economists in the country, and his remarkable ability to analyze data results in real insights to a wide variety of social issues. It's sure to piss off both liberals and conservatives alike, because he has no political perspective on these issues--he just explores the data.

If you're thinking that a book about economics sounds hopelessly boring, don't worry--it's not about economics. Not really. Here's the first paragraph off the book jacket:
Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? What kind of impact did Roe v. Wade have on violent crime?

Every one of these questions (and more) is explored with an analytical style that is brilliantly clean. Truly, the book is sensational.

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