Superfreakonomics, Paperback book

Superfreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes And Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance[Paperback]

by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt

3.78 out of 5 (50 ratings)

Penguin Books Ltd 
Publication Date:
24 June 2010 


Sequel to the international bestseller "Freakonomics", Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner's "Superfreakonomics" is an irresistible look at the counterintuitive science of everyday life. The Freakquel is here. In "Superfreakonomics" Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner look deeper, question harder and uncover even more hidden truths about our world, from terrorism to shark attacks, cable TV to hurricanes. They ask, among other things: What's a sure-fire way to catch a terrorist? Are people hard-wired for altruism or selfishness? Which cancer does chemotherapy work best for? Why is combating global warming easier than we think? Sometimes, the most superfreaky solution is the simplest. "Travels further than its predecessor...Levitt is a master at drawing counter-intuitive conclusions". ("Sunday Times"). "Fascinating ...studded with intriguing examples". ("Daily Telegraph"). "Like "Freakonomics", but better are guaranteed a good time". ("Financial Times"). "Page-turning, politically incorrect and ever-so-slightly intoxicating, like a large swig of tequila". ("The Times"). Steven D. Levitt teaches economics at the University of Chicago. His idiosyncratic economic research into areas as varied as guns and game shows has triggered debate in the media and academic circles. He recently received the American Economic Association's John Bates Clark Medal, awarded every two years to the best American economist under forty. 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 of Levitt in "The New York Times" magazine. The extraordinary response that article received led to a remarkable collaboration.

Showing 1-4 out of 51 reviews. Previous | Next

  • Great critical thinking deserves our following and these guys do it again. This book runs a little more rambling than their first outing but no doubt many readers will appreciate the extra detail and hover over every significant finding. The book produces an outcome of thinking that leans to the cynical: Everything accepted by the mainstream is proven futile. How, then, to get the mainstream out of the mainstream and into a more productive current? There is the unanswered question of the book. Perhaps the answer is; us, the now-enlightened readers.PS: Not as many delectable anecdotes as their first but still lots of chewy details.:)

    5.00 out of 5


  • Once again, Levitt and Dubner apply economist techniques to a variety of interesting topics, including prostitution, global warming, terrorism, altruism, and fundamental healthcare. Like the last book, some of the revelations are startling -- for instance, you are 8 times more likely to die in a drunk-walking incident than you are in drunk driving incident. A more central theme to the book though isn't the manipulation of data to reach surprising conclusions, but that data alone isn't going to change human behavior. Much is written about the literally hot topic of global warming -- Al Gore is probably right in stating that if we are going to change our behavior to alleviate the problem we are dangerously behind the eight ball. A better solution posed by some brilliant minds, however, suggests we will never get to that point -- the imperative isn't aligned with our motivation. The solution is counter-intuitive, and given the lack of environmental understanding that led to this mess, a suspiciously risky one, then again, we do know more now than we knew in the past, and perhaps the risk isn't so great after all.Like the first book, this one is shorter than I wanted it to be. The epilogue in particular I found fascinating, although I suppose elaborating on it goes rather beyond the scope of the book. It involves monkeys learning to use money...and what they ultimately learned they could buy with it.

    5.00 out of 5


  • I suspect a lot of the people that give this a low grade are disguising their disgust that the former "cool kids" that took down Real Estate agents and compared drug gangs to the big corporate struggle dared to take on the orthodoxy of global warming and the patron Saint Al Gore. The chapter about possible solutions to global warming is worth the read. It is refreshing to read something other than the two religious extremes (it doesn't exist, it is the end of the world) and the explanations make sense. People from the church of Al Gore are too savvy to put that in their reviews, but I expect that is where the disappointment comes from."We loved Freakonomics when it supported what we believe.""Super Freakonomics is lame because it questions what I believe!"

    5.00 out of 5


  • Subtitled "Global Cooling, patriotic prostitutes, and why suicide bombers should buy life insurance." Like Freakonomics before it, this book is a fascinating look at the world around us through a lens of economics. The global warming chapter does have sensible things to say (there is more to global warming than just the carbon dioxide cycle), an analysis of how to ameliorate the hurricane effects, what capuchin monkeys buy when given a money economy (yes, the oldest profession does figure into it), the economics of prostitution over the last century, as well as through several neighborhoods in one modern town, how one might use various indicators to help locate terrorists on home soil, and so on. Fascinating analyses.

    5.00 out of 5


Reviews provided by Librarything.

Also by Stephen J. Dubner