Tag Archives: stephen j dubner

Super Freakonomics by Steven D Levitt & Stephen J Dubner

I read the first Freakonomics two years ago under the duress of a now ex-boyfriend. It was one of the only positive things I got out of that relationship. 

I never thought I’d have an interest in “social economics” until I got my hands on Levitt & Dubner’s brainchild. I mean, with questions like: why do drug dealers still live with their moms? (in the first book) and why are mall santa clauses and prostitutes alike? (in the second)… How could you not fly through the pages? bookpic

While I absolutely LOVED the first book, I felt that the second was a little thin and lackluster in comparison. I liked the more global hypotheses, like how to combat the greenhouse effect and all that jazz, but it wasn’t as dishy as the first. Before it felt almost like a guilty pleasure. Now it’s kind of old hat. 

If you enjoyed the first, however, there’s really no reason not to continue with the next installment. Hopefully next time L&D can devote some brainpower to answering questions like: why do TVs keep getting flatter when we don’t even have a tortilla chip with a guacamole-supporting infrastructure? or why do teenagers put cases on their phones but don’t use condoms??

Alas, the world will never know!

4 Forth of July hookers of 5 

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Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner was a book lent to me with the mysterious line, I think you’ll like it… Hmmm. Economics? Not really my best selling point. Visions of high school math class–the droning teachers and indecipherable equations–swam before my eyes every time I even looked at the cover. It sat on my night table for over a month before I cracked it open. But man, when I cracked it open, I couldn’t put it down!  

Levitt is the main author of this book, and Dubner mostly helps him along the way. Together, they accomplish an almost impossible feat. They make reading about the economy interesting.  Full of insightful social commentary and interesting experiments, Freakonomics really makes you consider how events (from everyday to historical) shape the world around us.

It poses titillating questions like:

  • What do teachers and sumo wrestlers have in common?
  • How is the KKK similar to real estate agents?
  • Why do drug dealers still live with their moms?
  • What was the event that caused 7 million American children to disappear overnight, yet never made the news?
And many more…
I really haven’t much to complain about this book. It was a thoroughly consuming read and although it was outside my usual genre, I really enjoyed learning something new. I came out the other side of this book feeling a little bit more enlightened about life and not weighed down by technical jargon. Levitt presents the information in a way that is easy to understand for all.  A new favorite.
5 of 5 stars