Customer Reviews for

SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

39 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

Fun, like the first

Levitt and Dubner's new book provides insight and thought that basically leaps from where Freakonomics stopped. I love that they take the "truths" that the world hold as self evident and test them. From the radio interviews I have heard it is obvious that some people be...
Levitt and Dubner's new book provides insight and thought that basically leaps from where Freakonomics stopped. I love that they take the "truths" that the world hold as self evident and test them. From the radio interviews I have heard it is obvious that some people believe that some things shouldn't be considered. I was floored when their analysis showed that walking drunk was significantly more dangerous than driving drunk. They, of course, are not recommending that we drive drunk (are you stupid, or what?) but that we be more mindful of our decisions. If you can have fun with the intellectual exploration, even if you don't always agree with their conclusions, you'll love this book. Another one I enjoyed recently that I strongly recommend if you're interested in personal development is "Emotional Intelligence 2.0"

posted by Patrick_Newman on October 24, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

14 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

Too many obvious mistakes and too much second-hand material

While people have commented at length (negatively) on the global cooling chapter, no one has pointed out the obvious mistakes in the drunk-walking chapter. Namely, there is "adverse selection" in that drunk-walkers are usually more drunk than drunk drivers. How do you...
While people have commented at length (negatively) on the global cooling chapter, no one has pointed out the obvious mistakes in the drunk-walking chapter. Namely, there is "adverse selection" in that drunk-walkers are usually more drunk than drunk drivers. How do you know this? Who has ever said: "I am too drunk to walk. I think I'll drive" ? Given the obvious error there that a layperson like me can spot (and I also think there is a per-hour and per-mile mistake), and the well-documented errors (including refutation by the sources quoted at length) in the global-cooling chapter, I would both recommend against buying this book and recommend that the authors remove it from the shelves and try again, so as not to destroy the wonderful brand image they created with the first.

I would recommend reading the review in the Guardian to learn how such a bad sequel is almost inevitable after such a promising first effort (Blair Witch Project, anyone?). had I read that, I wouldn't have bought the book.

Howeever, in the lemons-into-lemonade department, I am a teacher and might make unauthorized copies (I feel like I got ripped off buying the book, so all's fair) of both those chapters and give them to my students to hone their critical-thinking skills and get them to comment on why the analysis might be wrong, and how to challenge it, rather than to automatically accept like so many of my students do, that it is in a book by experts with data, so it must be right.

posted by CriticalThinkerMD on October 24, 2009

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  • Posted October 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Fun, like the first

    Levitt and Dubner's new book provides insight and thought that basically leaps from where Freakonomics stopped. I love that they take the "truths" that the world hold as self evident and test them. From the radio interviews I have heard it is obvious that some people believe that some things shouldn't be considered. I was floored when their analysis showed that walking drunk was significantly more dangerous than driving drunk. They, of course, are not recommending that we drive drunk (are you stupid, or what?) but that we be more mindful of our decisions. If you can have fun with the intellectual exploration, even if you don't always agree with their conclusions, you'll love this book. Another one I enjoyed recently that I strongly recommend if you're interested in personal development is "Emotional Intelligence 2.0"

    39 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 19, 2009

    Worth reading

    Enjoyed the whole thing; for me the most entertaining pages (about 10%) of 'Super' are focused on Intellectual Ventures and their solutions for global warming/cooling. Written so everybody can understand and interesting enough to finish without a break.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2011

    Not as good as the original...

    ...but some interesting thoughts nonetheless. I highly recommend the global warming chapter (at a minimum) for all the 'environmentalists' out there.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Levitt and Dubner Have Done It Again

    "How Is a Street Prostitute Like a Deparment-Store Santa?" This is the title of the first chapter of SuperFreakonomics. Dubner and Levitt have once again presented an examination of seemingly unrelated topics that end up revealing some big answers about our world. The Sequel is not quite as strong as the original in terms of presenting ground-breaking research. The pop economics phenomenon was touched off by the original Freakonomics, and since a flood of books have been released that cover how data analysis may be used to uncover relations among seemingly extraneous details. The theme is getting a little tired this book stands out as one of the better ones though.

    This book is once again very well written and presented. The chapter entitled "What do Al Gore and Mount Pinatubo Have In Common?" is funny and presents a very interesting take on the solutions to the global warming problem. There may have been some controversy about how the chapter is written, but the point Dubner and Levitt make still stands. Controversy aside this is a great book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I TELL U SOME OF THE STORIES HERE

    SOME OF THE STORIES HERE CAN BE SO COMICAL THAT THEY MAKE U THINK TWICE ... THEY SURE DID 4 ME

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2014

    If you post here, you should probably learn to spell correctly.

    If you post here, you should probably learn to spell correctly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2014

    Superfreakanomics was a really interesting book. Subjects ranged

    Superfreakanomics was a really interesting book. Subjects ranged from things I thought I has nothing to do with economics. Both the authors did a good job. I highly recommend this book. It's not solely about numbers and other boring economic topics , it apples to real world situations.
    They were boring parts as well but overall I liked it


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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2014

    Levitt and Dubner do a great job of taking economics out of the

    Levitt and Dubner do a great job of taking economics out of the text book study from the classroom!  Using economics to explore prostitution to solutions for global warming was interesting and left me wanting more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2013

    Good continuation of Freakonomics franchise

    I found this book to be a good follow up of the first in the series. Witty and interesting, this book's topics range from ER visits to drunk driver statistics. I found the vast majority of the topics to be entertaining, even if I had no prior knowledge or interest in them. My one qualm was the placement of the endnotes, which were after the acknowledgements but before the index. This was slightly irritating given that there were also in-line citations and footnotes. All in all, a great read that I hope is followed up wih another book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2013

    In this book, the authors use real life examples that normal peo

    In this book, the authors use real life examples that normal people encounter almost everyday, to
    explain economics. They explain why a suicide bomber should buy life insurance even though it is
    completely pointless for them to do so. The book also talks about global warming ad how eating
     meat contributes to warming the earth more than driving your car. The authors also discuss why the
    domestic violence in India is so high, and why it is safer to drive home drunk than trying to walk home
     drunk. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2013

    Although a bit boring at times, Superfreakonomics was a very int

    Although a bit boring at times, Superfreakonomics was a very interesting read, and I would highly reccomend to anyone seeking to broaden their intellect. Through interesting statistics, and intriguing chapter names, the authors hooked me and i couldn't put this book down. I can now impress my family and friends with my newfound knowledge on such topics as street prostitutes, global warming, vaccines, and much more. Well worth my time to read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2013

    This was a somewhat good book as it put economics in a more unde

    This was a somewhat good book as it put economics in a more understandable way. Most people wouldn't understand economics straight up but this helps very much.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2013

    Superfreakonomics is an amusing book. It's written as if the aut

    Superfreakonomics is an amusing book. It's written as if the author was having a conversation with the reader personally because every now and then you find a little joke in the chapter. It's an amusing book especially because it brings up question one normally wouldn't think of such as "How is a prostitute like a department-store santa?" It may get confusing at times because the subject changes pretty frequently. However, this book is worth reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2012

    Interesting facts

    It was fun to learn so much in an entertaining book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2012

    This book was very fun and entertaining read. It's very interest

    This book was very fun and entertaining read. It's very interesting to, not only look at (what seem to be) not economically linked situations from an economical perspective. The authors of this book have proven how big of an impact small things have on huge issues. Also, how just about everything seems to be connected somehow, no matter how impossible it may seem. It’s a good sequel from Freakonomics and continues with the theme of incentives. Overall a great book definitely worth reading. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2012

    This book is exploding with information, hidden truths, bewilder

    This book is exploding with information, hidden truths, bewildering facts, and useful knowledge that you should always keep in your back pocket. It gets readers thinking and keeps them on their toes. You don't have to know much about any of the topics mentioned in the is, Levitt and Dubner provide you with a full on explanation. Certain things may astonish you; drunk walking is more dangerous than drunk driving. Or a doctor's hand's contain so many germs because they don't wash their hands frequently enough, which as a result has caused millions of deaths. This book was very enjoyable, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wishes to be blown away.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2012

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book

    Fast paced, fun, interesting read. I didnt read the first book, so I didnt have the same opportunity to be dissapointed, but I don't think I would have been if I had. Subject matter is surprising and fresh, and I recommed this book to someone looking for something different.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2012

    Great perspectives!

    It's nice to read something so informative without a political bias!

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  • Posted October 31, 2011

    Entertaining, and very engaging!

    Superfreakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner is an entertaining book that makes one look at topics at a very different angle, with very intriguing results. It looks at such topics as global warming, prostitution, hospital sanitation, terrorism, and various other topics. However, these points are looked at from an economist's point of view, and it provides some eye-opening realizations. One such example would be by using statistics, it can be determined that walking home drunk is actually much more dangerous than driving home drunk. There are actually more walking related deaths under the influence of alcohol than driving related ones, even taking the innocent deaths into account. The style of the book is engaging, and humorous as well, however it is not overly wacky or goofy. It is witty in its hilarity, and I found myself laughing out loud while reading it. Dubner says while explaining climate change, "Rising sea levels, for instance, 'aren't being driven primarily by glaciers melting,' Wood says, no matter how useful that image may be for environmental activists. The truth is far less sexy". However, during the global warming chapter some of the information that is in the book is actually false after researching. Many climate specialists and economists denounce Dubner and Levitt's argument that geo-engineering is a viable option as opposed to CO2 emission reduction in order to prevent global warming. The diction and language choices are not difficult, and just about anyone can follow along easily. Regardless, the points talked about in the section, and the rest of the book is extremely stimulating. I enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in quirky or interesting truths, or anyone who likes to see everything from more than one perspective.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    If you love learning about economics and what influences people's actions, then you'll love this book. This is an extremely enjoyable book for it's hilarity, and true life stories of human experiences, and the influence that economics has on their choices.

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