Stephen J. Dubner lives in New York City. He writes for the New York Times and the New Yorker, and is the bestselling author of Turbulent Souls and Confessions of a Hero-Worshipper.In August 2003 Dubner wrote a profile in New York Times magazine. The extraordinary response that article received - from readers, the rest of the media and organizations including even the CIA and the Pentagon - led to a remarkable collaboration between journalist and rogue economist. Freakonomics is the eagerly anticipated result.
Levitt (economics, Univ. of Chicago) and Dubner (Turbulent Souls) provide more of their inimitable insights and observations in this follow-up to their critically lauded mega-best seller, Freakonomics (2005), also available from Books on Tape and HarperAudio. Drawing on new research and original studies conducted by Levitt, they here explain, e.g., how eating kangaroo can help to save the planet and the surprising commonality among hurricanes, heart attacks, and highway deaths. Listeners will be entertained by this mix of clever thinking and good storytelling, and Dubner's solid, lively reading will sustain their interest throughout. While the material is indeed easy to digest and dynamically presented, professionals might instead prefer economics research of the type found in peer-reviewed journals and including citations for the statistics. Recommended for public libraries. [The New York Times best-selling Morrow hc was described as "readable, irreverent, insightful, and an exemplary representation of analytical thinking," LJ Xpress Reviews, 10/30/09.-Ed.]-Dale Farris, Groves, TX Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
Like Freakonomics, but better ... thrilling ... you are guaranteed a good time ... underneath the dazzle, there is substance too -- Tim Harford Financial Times Levitt is a master at drawing counter-intuitive conclusions ... great fun ... Superfreakonomics travels further than its predecessor -- Tom Standage Sunday Times A humdinger ... Page-turning, politically incorrect and ever-so-slightly intoxicating, like a large swig of tequila The Times
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.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.