Author: Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
Publisher: Harper Collins
Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? How did the legalization of abortion affect the rate of violent crime? These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing—and whose conclusions turn conventional wisdom on its head. Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They usually begin with a mountain of data and a simple question. Some of these questions concern life-and-death issues; others have an admittedly freakish quality. Thus the new field of study contained in this book: Freakonomics. Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, Levitt and Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives—how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. In Freakonomics, they explore the hidden side of . . . well, everything. The inner workings of a crack gang. The truth about real-estate agents. The myths of campaign finance. The telltale marks of a cheating schoolteacher. The secrets of the Ku Klux Klan. What unites all these stories is a belief that the modern world, despite a great deal of complexity and downright deceit, is not impenetrable, is not unknowable, and—if the right questions are asked—is even more intriguing than we think. All it takes is a new way of looking. Freakonomics establishes this unconventional premise: If morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work. It is true that readers of this book will be armed with enough riddles and stories to last a thousand cocktail parties. But Freakonomics can provide more than that. It will literally redefine the way we view the modern world. Bonus material added to the revised and expanded 2006 edition The original New York Times Magazine article about Steven D. Levitt by Stephen J. Dubner, which led to the creation of this book. Seven “Freakonomics” columns written for the New York Times Magazine, published between August 2005 and April 2006. Selected entries from the Freakonomics blog, posted between April 2005 and May 2006 at http://www.freakonomics.com/blog/.
Author: Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
Publisher: Harper Collins
Whether investigating a solution to global warming or explaining why the price of oral sex has fallen so drastically, Levitt and Dubner mix smart thinking and great storytelling to show how people respond to incentives.
Author: Steven Johnson
A National Bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book, and an Entertainment Weekly Best Book of the Year From Steven Johnson, the dynamic thinker routinely compared to James Gleick, Dava Sobel, and Malcolm Gladwell, The Ghost Map is a riveting page-turner about a real-life historical hero, Dr. John Snow. It's the summer of 1854, and London is just emerging as one of the first modern cities in the world. But lacking the infrastructure -- garbage removal, clean water, sewers -- necessary to support its rapidly expanding population, the city has become the perfect breeding ground for a terrifying disease no one knows how to cure. As the cholera outbreak takes hold, a physician and a local curate are spurred to action-and ultimately solve the most pressing medical riddle of their time. In a triumph of multidisciplinary thinking, Johnson illuminates the intertwined histories and interconnectedness of the spread of disease, contagion theory, the rise of cities, and the nature of scientific inquiry, offering both a riveting history and a powerful explanation of how it has shaped the world we live in.
Author: Isaiah Berlin
Publisher: Princeton University Press
"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." This ancient Greek aphorism, preserved in a fragment from the poet Archilochus, describes the central thesis of Isaiah Berlin's masterly essay on Leo Tolstoy and the philosophy of history, the subject of the epilogue to War and Peace. Although there have been many interpretations of the adage, Berlin uses it to mark a fundamental distinction between human beings who are fascinated by the infinite variety of things and those who relate everything to a central, all-embracing system. Applied to Tolstoy, the saying illuminates a paradox that helps explain his philosophy of history: Tolstoy was a fox, but believed in being a hedgehog. One of Berlin's most celebrated works, this extraordinary essay offers profound insights about Tolstoy, historical understanding, and human psychology. This new edition features a revised text that supplants all previous versions, English translations of the many passages in foreign languages, a new foreword in which Berlin biographer Michael Ignatieff explains the enduring appeal of Berlin's essay, and a new appendix that provides rich context, including excerpts from reviews and Berlin's letters, as well as a startling new interpretation of Archilochus's epigram.
Author: Kurt Andersen
As big and exciting as the next century, this is a novel of real life at our giddy, feverish, topsy-turvy edge of the millennium. Turn of the Century is a good old-fashioned novel about the day after tomorrow--an uproarious, exquisitely observed panorama of our world as the twentieth century morphs into the twenty-first, transforming family, marriage, and friendship and propelled by the supercharged global businesses and new technologies that make everyone's lives shake and spin a little faster. As the year 2000 progresses, George Mactier and Lizzie Zimbalist, ten years married, are caught up in the whirl of their centrifugally accelerating lives. George is a TV producer for the upstart network MBC, launching a truly and weirdly groundbreaking new show that blurs the line between fact and fiction. Lizzie is a software entrepreneur dealing with the breakneck pleasures and pains of running her own company in an industry where the rules are rewritten daily. Rocketing between Los An-geles and Seattle, with occasional stopovers at home in Manhattan for tag-team parenting of their three children, George and Lizzie are the kind of businesspeople who, growing up in the sixties and seventies, never dreamed they would end up in business. They're too busy to spend the money that's rolling in, and too smart not to feel ambivalent about their crazed, high-gloss existences, but nothing seems to slow the roller-coaster momentum of their inter-secting lives and careers. However, after Lizzie, recovering from a Microsoft deal gone awry, becomes a confidante and adviser to George's boss, billionaire media mogul Harold Mose, the couple discovers that no amount of sophisticated spin can obscure basic instincts: envy, greed, suspicion, sexual temptation--and, maybe, love. When they and their children are finally drawn into a thrilling, high-tech corporate hoax that sends Wall Street reeling (and makes one person very, very rich), George and Lizzie can only marvel at life's oversized surprises and hold on for dear life. Like Tom Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities, Kurt Andersen's Turn of the Century lays bare the follies of our age with laser-beam precision, creating memorable characters and dissecting the ways we think, speak, and navigate this new era of extreme capitalism and mind-boggling technology. Entertaining, imaginative, knowing, and wise, Turn of the Century is a richly plotted comedy of manners about the way we live now. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Thomas Frank
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
One of "our most insightful social observers"* cracks the great political mystery of our time: how conservatism, once a marker of class privilege, became the creed of millions of ordinary Americans With his acclaimed wit and acuity, Thomas Frank turns his eye on what he calls the "thirty-year backlash"—the populist revolt against a supposedly liberal establishment. The high point of that backlash is the Republican Party's success in building the most unnatural of alliances: between blue-collar Midwesterners and Wall Street business interests, workers and bosses, populists and right-wingers. In asking "what 's the matter with Kansas?"—how a place famous for its radicalism became one of the most conservative states in the union—Frank, a native Kansan and onetime Republican, seeks to answer some broader American riddles: Why do so many of us vote against our economic interests? Where's the outrage at corporate manipulators? And whatever happened to middle-American progressivism? The questions are urgent as well as provocative. Frank answers them by examining pop conservatism—the bestsellers, the radio talk shows, the vicious political combat—and showing how our long culture wars have left us with an electorate far more concerned with their leaders' "values" and down-home qualities than with their stands on hard questions of policy. A brilliant analysis—and funny to boot—What's the Matter with Kansas? presents a critical assessment of who we are, while telling a remarkable story of how a group of frat boys, lawyers, and CEOs came to convince a nation that they spoke on behalf of the People. *Los Angeles Times
Author: Arthur Benjamin, Michael Shermer
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
These simple math secrets and tricks will forever change how you look at the world of numbers. Secrets of Mental Math will have you thinking like a math genius in no time. Get ready to amaze your friends—and yourself—with incredible calculations you never thought you could master, as renowned “mathemagician” Arthur Benjamin shares his techniques for lightning-quick calculations and amazing number tricks. This book will teach you to do math in your head faster than you ever thought possible, dramatically improve your memory for numbers, and—maybe for the first time—make mathematics fun. Yes, even you can learn to do seemingly complex equations in your head; all you need to learn are a few tricks. You’ll be able to quickly multiply and divide triple digits, compute with fractions, and determine squares, cubes, and roots without blinking an eye. No matter what your age or current math ability, Secrets of Mental Math will allow you to perform fantastic feats of the mind effortlessly. This is the math they never taught you in school.
Author: Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Alastair Smith, Randolph M. Siverson, James D. Morrow
Publisher: MIT Press
The authors of this ambitious book address a fundamental political question: why are leaders who produce peace and prosperity turned out of office while those who preside over corruption, war, and misery endure? Considering this political puzzle, they also answer the related economic question of why some countries experience successful economic development and others do not. The authors construct a provocative theory on the selection of leaders and present specific formal models from which their central claims can be deduced. They show how political leaders allocate resources and how institutions for selecting leaders create incentives for leaders to pursue good and bad public policy. They also extend the model to explain the consequences of war on political survival. Throughout the book, they provide illustrations from history, ranging from ancient Sparta to Vichy France, and test the model against statistics gathered from cross-national data. The authors explain the political intuition underlying their theory in nontechnical language, reserving formal proofs for chapter appendixes. They conclude by presenting policy prescriptions based on what has been demonstrated theoretically and empirically.
Author: Richard Wiseman
Publisher: Basic Books
For over twenty years, psychologist Richard Wiseman has examined the quirky science of everyday life. In Quirkology, he navigates the oddities of human behavior, explaining the tell-tale signs that give away a liar, the secret science behind speed-dating and personal ads, and what a person's sense of humor reveals about the innermost workings of his or her mind—all along paying tribute to others who have carried out similarly weird and wonderful work. Wiseman's research has involved secretly observing people as they go about their daily business, conducting unusual experiments in art exhibitions and music concerts, and even staging fake séances in allegedly haunted buildings. With thousands of research subjects from all over the world, including enamored couples, unwitting pedestrians, and guileless dinner guests, Wiseman presents a fun, clever, and unexpected picture of the human mind.
Author: Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
Publisher: Harper Collins
Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? How did the legalization of abortion affect the rate of violent crime? These may not sound like typical questions for an econo-mist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing—and whose conclusions turn conventional wisdom on its head. Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They usually begin with a mountain of data and a simple question. Some of these questions concern life-and-death issues; others have an admittedly freakish quality. Thus the new field of study contained in this book: freakonomics. Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, Levitt and Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives—how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. In Freakonomics, they explore the hidden side of . . . well, everything. The inner workings of a crack gang. The truth about real-estate agents. The myths of campaign finance. The telltale marks of a cheating schoolteacher. The secrets of the Klu Klux Klan. What unites all these stories is a belief that the modern world, despite a great deal of complexity and downright deceit, is not impenetrable, is not unknowable, and—if the right questions are asked—is even more intriguing than we think. All it takes is a new way of looking. Freakonomics establishes this unconventional premise: If morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work. It is true that readers of this book will be armed with enough riddles and stories to last a thousand cocktail parties. But Freakonomics can provide more than that. It will literally redefine the way we view the modern world.
Author: Charles Wheelan
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Seeks to provide an engaging and comprehensive primer to economics that explains key concepts without technical jargon and using common-sense examples.
Author: Niall Kishtainy
Economics in Minutes condenses key economics concepts into 200 short and easily digested essays. Featuring not only fundamental ideas, such as the role of money and how the stock market works, but also subjects that are increasingly important to us today - unemployment, government debt and corporate tax avoidance, for example. Economics in Minutes is the ideal introduction to a complex and vital subject. Key topics are succinctly described and accompanied by illustrations, making them simple to read and easy to remember. This convenient little reference guide will allow readers to understand the theories underpinning a subject that affects our lives on a daily basis. Chapters include: Supply and demand, globalization, market failure, GDP and happiness, risk and uncertainty, living standards and productivity, Game theory, economics and culture.
Author: Ben Casnocha
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Ben Casnocha discovered he was entrepreneur at age 12 and hasn't slowed down since. In this remarkably instructive book, Ben dissects the entrepreneurship "gene," explaining that everyone has inherited it if they have an idea to make the world a better place. In Casnocha's case, he found a better way for city governments to communicate with constituents on the Web. Six years later, Comcate has dozens of municipal clients, a growing staff, and a record of excellence. This book is the story of his start-up, but also a conversation with his mentors, clients and fellow entrepreneurs about how to make a business idea work?and how to have the time of your life trying. From Pat Lencioni to Marc Benioff of salesforce.com, Ben has won over the best and brightest of the business world?now it's your turn!
Author: Satish Y Deodhar
Publisher: Random House India
The economy isn’t just for the economists to debate on. All of us are affected by its ups and downs—global recession, rise in interest rates, or hike in food prices. But do we understand the principles at work and how and why they really affect us? Day to Day Economics is an enjoyable, accessible, and extremely user-friendly book that explains the modern day Indian economy to the layperson. In this relevant book, Professor Deodhar explains the role of the government and its involvement in different aspects of the economy; the need for the RBI and its functions; and how taxes, stock markets, and recessions work. Day to Day Economics will help you go beyond the facts and figures in the budget and connect the trends to your daily life. As with all IIMA Business Books, it comes illustrated with numerous Indian examples and case studies making this the ultimate rookie’s guide to the Indian economy.
Author: Hal Urban
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
The author of the classic bestseller "Lifes Greatest Lessons" presents people of all faiths with ten principles of practical wisdom to live by, drawn from readings of both the Old and New Testaments.