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Freakonomics
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About the Author

Steven D. Levitt, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago, was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal, given to the most influential American economist under forty. He is also a founder of The Greatest Good, which applies Freakonomics-style thinking to business and philanthropy. Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning journalist and radio and TV personality, has worked for the New York Times and published three non-Freakonomics books. He is the host of Freakonomics Radio and Tell Me Something I Don't Know. Stephen J. Dubner is an award-winning author, journalist, and radio and TV personality. He quit his first career--as an almost rock star--to become a writer. He has since taught English at Columbia, worked for The New York Times, and published three non-Freakonomics books.

Reviews

Economist Levitt and Dubner (Turbulent Souls) team up in this intriguing, quirky look at life and how to understand better the world in a new way. In 2003, the New York Times Magazine sent Dubner to do a profile of Levitt, and the idea for this book was born. Levitt looks at a variety of data, including KKK membership rolls, online dating services, and names for children, and finds in the math underlying answers to difficult questions that have a freakish quality. The quirky chapters include the commonality between schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers, why drug dealers still live with their mothers, and what makes a perfect parent. The crisp, bright narration by Dubner enlivens this title, which will appeal to fans of Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point as well as to economists. Recommended for university libraries supporting a business and economics curriculum and larger public libraries.-Dale Farris, Groves, TX Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Though the idea of listening to an economics text may bring to mind nightmarish visions of incomprehensible facts, figures and graphs, this audiobook is refreshingly accessible and engrossing. Journalist Dubner reads with just the right mix of enthusiasm and awe, revealing juicy morsels of wisdom on everything from what sumo wrestlers and teachers have in common (a propensity to cheat) to whether parents can really push their kids to greatness by buying them Baby Einstein toys and enlisting them in numerous before- and after-school activities (not really). The only section that doesn't translate well to the format is the final one on naming conventions. The lists of "White Girl Names" and "Black Girl Names," and "Low-End" names and "High-End" names can be mind-numbing, though the text that breaks up these lists will intrigue. Overall, however, these unusual investigations by Levitt, the "rogue" of the subtitle, make for meaty-and entertaining-listening. Simultaneous release with the Morrow hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 14). (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"A showcase for Levitt's intriguing explorations into a number of disparate topics.... There's plenty of fun to be had."--Salon.com
"The trivia alone is worth the cover price."--New York Times Book Review
"Freakonomics is politically incorrect in the best, most essential way.... This is bracing fun of the highest order."--Kurt Andersen, host of public radio's Studio 360 and author of Turn of the Century
"Levitt is a number cruncher extraordinaire."--Philadelphia Daily News
"An easy, funny read. Many unsolvable problems the Americans have could be solved with simple means."--Business World
"Levitt dissects complex real-world phenomena, e.g. baby-naming patterns and Sumo wrestling, with an economist's laser."--San Diego Union-Tribune
"The guy is interesting!"--Washington Post Book World
"One of the decade's most intelligent and provocative books."--The Daily Standard
"The funkiest study of statistical mechanics ever by a world-renowned economist... Eye-opening and sometimes eye-popping"--Entertainment Weekly
"An eye-opening, and most interesting, approach to the world."--Kirkus Reviews
"Levitt is one of the most notorious economists of our age."--Financial Times
"An unconventional economist defies conventional wisdom."--Associated Press
"Economics is not widely considered to be one of the sexier sciences.... Steven D. Levitt will change some minds."--Amazon.com
"Freakonomics challenges conventional wisdom and makes for fun reading."--Book Sense Picks and Notables
"If Indiana Jones were an economist, he'd be Steven Levitt... Criticizing Freakonomics would be like criticizing a hot fudge sundae."--Wall Street Journal
"Principles of economics are used to examine daily life in this fun read."--People: Great Reads
"Steven Levitt has the most interesting mind in America... Prepare to be dazzled."--Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink and The Tipping Point
"Provocative... eye-popping."--New York Times Book Review: Inside the List
"Hard to resist."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Freakonomics was the 'It' book of 2005."--Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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