Very interesting, one of the few books I found myself arguing with the author simply because the premise seems so ludicrous, but you have to admit, he makes, as sad as it is, a lot of sense. I also like that he gave the "exception to the rule" at the end, made me feel a little validated for reading to my kids every single night *laugh*
A book from a different perspective, everyone should read it.
I know that some of what the books says would be considered very controversial (the connection between abortion and lowered crime rates, for example), but it really does make a lot of sense. The book helped open my eyes to things that I don't normally think about, or if it was a question I had thought of, it made me see the possibilities within that question in a much different way than I had ever really thought of. I can understand why this book is so popular.
Leah (VeganFreak) reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 7
I read this because of all of the hype. I was not "dazzled", as the blurb on the cover suggested I would be. It wasn't a bad book, I just don't get what the big deal is.
I thought that this was a moderately entertaining book that read more like a series of unrelated articles. I'm not convinced that the conclusions that they came to are of any merit and I don't really care enough about it to do any further research on my own.
It brought up some interesting ideas and I like that this may encourage people to be more unconventional in the the things that they study and the questions that they ask.
Perhaps if I were an economist or a student studying economics, this would feel fresh and groundbreaking. Instead I am just a chick who likes books and I finished this one with a shrug.
If you are an avid reader, go ahead and read it, just be prepared to not be dazzled. Be prepared for an okay read that may be more impressive if you ignore the hype.
Fabulous example of creative, analytical thought!!! Provokes new thought!!! Provides insight about historical instances of correlation without proper cause and effect--then gives proper concluding evidence of different causal factors. Makes some seemingly random statements, but concludes with proper correlation in each instance.
Very interesting what someone can do with numbers. Yes, the crack dealers who live with the mothers section is fun to read, and ultimately sad because we know that these boys will never break the cycle of violence and we will always have "ghettos." I was more interested with the correlation of students first names and the average education level of students with such names... Mary, Sarah, Tiffany, Leticia, etc. According to this book, I shouldn't name my girl after a flower! Overall, the book was entertainment taken with a grain of salt.
Absolutely fascinating, well written and entertaining -- which is saying a lot, given that I tend to twitch uncontrollably when I hear the term "economics." Levitt has the ability to pull together what seem to be completely disparate concepts -- things that no one else have seen -- and have them make sense. (For example, his chapter on why crack dealers still live at home with their mothers - brilliant!)
An interesting take on economics. I found it fun reading, but most of it probably won't stick with me. I am already someone who asks a lot of questions and doesn't always accept the obvious answer for things, so a part of the book's message is already a part of my life.
The specific cases discussed are interesting, though, and a couple are (or were) somewhat controversial. I tend to side with the authors on that front, but I'm not an economist and I know I might be wrong.
If there's a flaw in this book it is in the repeated assertion that the authors aren't seeking fame or fortune. That point was hammered home often enough that the claim itself started to sound false to me. It might be true, but they seemed to be trying awfully hard to make it so.
I was looking forward to reading this book, but ended up being a little bored. It took me 3 different tries to read chapter one. Though once I got halfway through I started enjoying it more. It is definitely a book you have to pay attention to as you read, as stories from previous chapters are talked about in other chapters.
It is not a book as much as a cocktail party conversation. It lacks depth, supporting data, and illuminating analysis. This book is everything it attempts to criticize. It panders to the lowest common denominator and implores the reader to follow its arguments based on their intrigue value.
I failed to find the motive behind the random topical progression, and wished the authors had spent less time lauding themselves.
At best, this book is an index of papers and books to read.
What a fascinating book! The author has an amazing ability to look at long established âfactsâ in a completely new way, overthrowing commonly accepted wisdom, and finding the real causes behind changes in our society. I highly recommend this to everyone. It is short, to the point, and - regardless of whether you agree with his conclusions or not - it will make you think.
If you've ever wondered how minor subjects can have a major impact to society, this is a must read. The authors detail how events in our society have a recipocal effect om eveyone. I read it on an international flight and could not put it down long enough to nap. I loved it.
A fast read, organized into chapters like individual studies so you can pause easily. Interesting concepts, but occasionally has flawed reasoning. Attacks other people's assumptions while ignoring his own. Innovative thinking however.
Leigh reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 377 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A highly-readable book including a plethora of social "norms" and events, this book includes accounts of specific events and traces them back to their often not-so-specific sources. Once the authors explain the ideas, you'll say, "Why didn't I think of that? It seems so simple!"
If any book has caused me to attempt to think about a situation in a different way, this one does. I don't agree with their conclusions about parenting and making your child successful. For instance, simply having books around does nothing for a child, in my opinion. It's the act of reading them (or having them read to you) that is the key. Recommended for any curious person because of its readability factor.
good twist on the reasons that we are the way we are.....brought down to the level that anyone can understand. From why we name our children what we do..and how that effects them........to the Black Gangster Disciples....and what maxie business men they are.
Excellent way to look at issues in this world pragmatically in the concept of economics. Would definitely recommend this book as a must read. Finished it in one day. If your one who may always question news and world events that get reported, this book will definitely open your eyes and mind to figure out the angle and ask the further questions that don't get asked.
Really interesting facts.... if you like interesting facts. Freakonomics made me want to delve into the numbers a little more myself. The numbers were all there, their hypothesis seems sound, btu there's just SOMETHING that makes me say "Oh really?" and not want to completely believe them.
Of course, I'm not going to make a priority of disproving them, but I'm not firmly convinced of everything they're talking about... or, it just isn't applicable to life in general.
Either way, you should pick it up and read it. Just please don't get as excited about it as I did. It's about 200 (short) pages, so it's a good bathroom-read type book.
This is just one of many books I previewed because I don't have time to read them all. I flipped to a random page and read that the "broken window theory" doesn't necessarily work, that addressing crime in that way (as was done in NYC) didn't necessarily explain the dramatic drop in crime experienced there.
Well, my mind immediately went to my workplace... because I have seen what happens when the "ignore it and it will go away" theory is applied! First teenage library patrons speak loudly, let their ringtones be disruptive, and use obscene language "but just to their friends."
When ignored, they progress to horseplay, piggyback rides, hitting (again "just their friends")...
At this point when the staff try to shut them down, they have enough momentum to decide they don't want to be shut down! If we have a habitual offender or two in the group, they egg the others on.
If the staff do not call the sheriff, or they do but the sheriff cannot come, these teenagers then block the doorway, call staff b*tch and other lovely names, and refuse to leave.
At this point surely the staff are not the only ones imagining what could happen in this gang-infested area if the sheriff never comes.
Gee. Maybe dealing with the problem right away DOES make a difference. Staff who quickly deal with ringtones and loud talking are less likely to have to face worse behaviors, and they have more time to call the authorities before the situation escalates into something potentially dangerous.
How about parenting? Who is more successful -- the parent who makes their child acknowledge and obey "No" over candy in the checkout line or the parent who waits until their child is a screaming self-centered brat before deciding that some discipline might be in order?
Unimpressed with the author's casual dismissal of a principle I see working (if only in reverse) every single day, I put the book on my "post it" pile. I'm sure other people will say I should have read the whole book and not judge it so hastily, but I dislike being led from "stat to stat" at breakneck pace until the author figures you're convinced that HE is the only reliable source of ultimate conclusions.