Eric Phetteplace's Reviews > How to Lie with Statistics

How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff
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's review
Aug 31, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: lis-web
Recommended for: People who don't want to be ignoramuses their whole lives
Read from September 04 to 10, 2011

This is one of those rare books I would recommend to almost anyone. It's clear, concise, funny, not too complex, and above all important for anyone who wants to understand politics, economics, science, or life in general. Statistical analysis is so vital to determining how things actually stand and where we should be moving that people lacking awareness of basic logical/statistical fallacies are doomed to live within delusions. Being informed necessitates understanding and being skeptical of statistics.
Yes, the book is a bit dated, but it didn't bother me in the least. So you have to increase the monetary figures to adjust for inflation, big deal. The lessons in this book are timeless.
Also, if you do want to learn how to overstate your case or misrepresent something, this book can help. It's really written to arm people with the right questions and a healthy dose of skepticism, but inevitably ends up helping the scammers as well. Making an average? Choose the one (mean, mode, median, etc.) that best represents your case. Showing a trend over time? Choose a base year that skews things the way you want. It's not hard.
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