Ashley's Reviews > Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt
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's review
Oct 07, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: own, text-books, fill-in-the-gaps, lisette, blog
Read in January, 2011

Originally reviewed on my blog, Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing.

By the time I got around to actually reading this book, it had been sitting on my shelf for about 3 years. It was a text book for one of my Political Science classes in college. This book was used entirely for in class discussion. All of my classes that semester had a large reading load, and this one didn't seem as important to get read as the actual texts and published articles.

I read the first 3 chapters along with the class, before I prioritized (well, probably more like got lazy) and set it on the back burner. But, I enjoyed the book and the information it presented, and I've always planned to go back and read it. So, I added it to my Fill-in-the-Gaps list, and on my list for Adam's TBR Challenge, over at Roof Beam Reader.

I liked this book. A lot. The writing is mostly smooth, and the questions asked and the information presented is readable, entertaining, and interesting. Levitt is a somewhat unorthodox economist, claiming he isn't very good with numbers, and the traditional economic subjects don't interest him too much. He'd much rather decipher why drug dealers still live with their mothers if they are all supposed to be rich, or whether or not your name can really make a difference in your future careers. Dubner is a journalist who interviewed Levitt. They liked working together, and decided to collaborate on a book, detailing some of the studies and analysis they did to answer some of these questions.

I liked that the questions asked were a little unusual, but also relevant and pertinent to life. Economics can be broken down into the study of incentives, and it's interesting to note what they believe to be highly motivating. Incentives aren't always monetary. They can also be social, and moral. These incentives are often connected. Breaking apart or changing these incentives give us an added insight into human behavior, and why people do what they do. I don't know that I agree with everything they theorize about in this book, but I can say that they have done a very thorough job with their research, and it was never dull.

It's not a book for everyone, but then- I don't think much non-fiction is. But, this is a book that will make you think a little differently about the world and ask a new set of questions, even if it only happens while actually reading the book. I'm glad I finally finished this one. It was definitely worth it.

Have any of you read this book, or their blog? What do you think?
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Reading Progress

01/18/2011 page 113
01/29/2011 page 251
78.0% "Almost done!! Yay!"
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Inoli (new) - added it

Inoli This is right up my non-fiction alley. I probably already have thought about and have an opinion on a lot of the questions they've addressed.

Ashley That's awesome Inoli! I'd love to hear what you think if/when you read this one! It's really interesting! :)

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