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Sunday, September 5, 2010


Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
By Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner , 2005
268 pages, including Bonus Matter

I'd heard good things about this New York Times Bestseller, but was worried I would fail to comprehend a word of it as I have near zero knowledge of economics.  The amusing title appeared to be a trap for unsuspecting readers.  However, I was surprised to find it unpretentious, unlike so many other information-based, non-fiction literature I've come across.  The writing style is very conversational, making it easy to follow.  

Freakonomics uses unexpectedly entertaining factoids to illustrate the force of incentives and the difference between correlation and causality.  My brain felt like it was absorbing several mini lessons at once, as the book contains everything from why people cheat, to the science behind how parents name their children.

The authors of this book reminded me of the best teachers I've had throughout my education.  New ideas last longer in my memory when they come from teachers that create an engaging learning environment and tie information to real life situations.

This is an intriguing read even if you are not an economic enthusiast.  There are handfuls of great conversation starters and controversial topics worth considering.  If you're doubting the incredible educational nature of this book, listen to this: Freakonomics is required reading for Economics 101 at Weber State!

I'm looking forward to reading the sequel, Super Freakonomics!