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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but /and Light
Calling this a book on economics hasn't scared people away - with the book #3 on the Amazon.com listings and #5 here on .ca, people are clearly buying into the author's quirky insights into the world around us.
Freakonomics is an interesting collection of observations, never conceding to any agenda whatsoever. It's entertaining, but never really takes you anywhere...
Published on April 27 2005 by Craig Jenkins

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Entertainment, Questionable Motives!?
To me, the purpose of this book was mere SALES!!! The "research" seems very off and lacks thourough observation under DIFFERENT controlled situations.

Anyone could have written a book based on personal conspiracy-theories and illustrations of specific government propaganda. For instance, I failed to be convinced that the drop in crime in the year 2000 was based...
Published on Nov. 29 2009 by Wesley Tucker


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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but /and Light, April 27 2005
By 
Craig Jenkins (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores The Hidden Side Of Everything (Hardcover)
Calling this a book on economics hasn't scared people away - with the book #3 on the Amazon.com listings and #5 here on .ca, people are clearly buying into the author's quirky insights into the world around us.
Freakonomics is an interesting collection of observations, never conceding to any agenda whatsoever. It's entertaining, but never really takes you anywhere. Personally, I would have hoped that it would at least attempt to spur interest in economics and econometric methods, but in the end it reads more like an episode of Seinfeld - a book about, well, nothing.
It's an easy read, achievable on a single rainy day, and certainly not challenging for the average reader with no economics background. But I would encourage folks who do pick it up to consider the usefulness of the correlation/causality distinction and the methods of analysis beyond the description here. Not many of you will pick up an economics or statistics text because of this, but maybe if there were more books like this which make it interesting and applicable in our daily lives, we would all have a better understanding and appreciation for our strange little world at large.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good Entertainment, Questionable Motives!?, Nov. 29 2009
By 
Wesley Tucker "Man... Buy Classics !" (Edmonmton, Ab) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores The Hidden Side Of Everything (Hardcover)
To me, the purpose of this book was mere SALES!!! The "research" seems very off and lacks thourough observation under DIFFERENT controlled situations.

Anyone could have written a book based on personal conspiracy-theories and illustrations of specific government propaganda. For instance, I failed to be convinced that the drop in crime in the year 2000 was based on legallizing abortion 20 years prior. I believe the real reason for crime reduction was FEAR of being caught, brought about by the induction of DNA tesing and various forensic technologies. Technologies that became WELL known to the public via news and TV shows like Cold Case Files and CSI (which 1st aired in 2000)!!!!! Don't you think maybe crime is decreasing because tecnology is INcreasing?!!! What makes MY theory any less believable than the authors? Hey, maybe I'll write a book about my theories and sell it to nieve victims of crime!!!

This books publication is another example of a "Shock Doctrine" (which IS a great book by Naomi Klein?), that is specifically preying on consumers when they are vulnerable and thirsty for change and answers. I also thought the book was written arrogant and poorly, with alot of mindless babble lacking originating sources. Simply another unwanted gift of Media Mind Control, wrapped in fancy paper, only the agenda (which, in this case is book sales) changes!

Read this book with the same state of mind you would watch TV...it's just entertainment. And for those of you who don't already think beyond what you're told by the media (hopefully VERY few of you), this book may inspire some sort of out-of-the-box, new-age thinking beyond the surface.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great example of critical thinking but still take with a grain of salt, Sept. 3 2006
By 
George Jost "cartoongamelover" (Ottawa, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores The Hidden Side Of Everything (Hardcover)
This book looks at some every day things in our society with a critical eye and with in mind the principals of economics but in a way that it is accessible to everybody.

I don't think you should necesarilly agree with every opinion therein. For example, he makes a strong argument that the reduction in crime was largely due to legalized abortion. He might be right but there always can be every factor.

If you come out from the book memorizing his conclusions, you've probably lost the point. The analysis is more important than the conclusions although the conclusions.

Some questions he deals with?

1) Why do drug dealers live with their moms? Is a drug francise like McDonalds in some ways?

2) Do real estate agents really have your interest at heart or do they use their "information advantage" to maximize their own profit at some cost to you. Why and how.

3) Are most people honest? The honour system bagel company study.

4) The "innovation" of crack and its impact on society.

5) How one man fought the KKK by using a cartoon on television.

6) Do professionals such as teachers, sumo wrestlers and doctors cheat when the system makes it in their favor to do so? Is it possible to prove it using numbers?

7) Why is violent crime DOWN these days?

8) Does your name have any effect on your success in life?

9) Does money buy votes or does money follow the successful candidates?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff--a must read, Aug. 25 2006
This review is from: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores The Hidden Side Of Everything (Hardcover)
This book is more an effect of having integrated a still-to-be-proven scientific theory, within a "pseudo-philosophy" (as for Smith's theories about linking freedom and the innihilation of War with pece and harmony over the World), and ... Thus the later would actually present the later philosphy as a bunch of dogmatic perceptions (neo-darwiinism - nowadays, the whole part about "Natural Selection" is questioned, in light of recent genetical experiments and findings contradicting this specific issue about Darwin's theory). But hey, such a theory really suits those economists who believe in "human categorization" as a mesure to JUGE anyone (normal, that's what they must do for their financial or market analysis)... Many "self-fulfilling" prophecies in the end (setting the stage for making whatever "prophecy" happen), by suggesting some theory with "bold-logic" - perceptions, indirectly encouraging people to act according to it.

Must also recommend the books: ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY and POST OFFICE for "Fiction" books to read. Hey, you don't want to just read the practial stuff, now do you?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Calling this a book on economics hasn't scared people away, March 14 2006
This review is from: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores The Hidden Side Of Everything (Hardcover)
People are clearly buying into the author's quirky insights into the world around us.
Freakonomics is an interesting collection of observations, never conceding to any agenda whatsoever. It's entertaining, but never really takes you anywhere. Personally, I would have hoped that it would at least attempt to spur interest in economics and econometric methods, but in the end it reads more like an episode of Seinfeld - a book about, well, nothing.
It's an easy read, achievable on a single rainy day, and certainly not challenging for the average reader with no economics background. But I would encourage folks who do pick it up to consider the usefulness of the correlation/causality distinction and the methods of analysis beyond the description here. Not many of you will pick up an economics or statistics text because of this, but maybe if there were more books like this which make it interesting and applicable in our daily lives, we would all have a better understanding and appreciation for our strange little world at large. A great novel to read is by George Kostantinos and his bestseller~The Quest.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Freaky, March 7 2006
This review is from: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores The Hidden Side Of Everything (Hardcover)
Normally one for some current bestseller or Oprah pick (you know what I’m taking about----“Da Vinci” by Brown or McCrae’s wild and funny “Katzenjammer,” I decided to take a change on this one instead. Glad I did.
This book is pure brain candy. It's material for cocktail parties. And although I can't say I attend many cocktail parties myself, I enjoyed it quite a bit, found myself telling co-workers about it almost every day. Levitt is the brain here, Dubner the writer (not a comment on Dubner's intelligence). Levitt is a heralded economist at the University of Chicago, but an odd sort of economist. Or, at least, an economist who asks odd questions. The authors promise that the book has no unifying theme. And while it does jump seemingly randomly from question to question, there are some lessons to be learned. The most obvious reason why something happens is not always the real reason. In fact, sometimes the real reason doesn't even make the list of possibilities. Or, as is often true in the case studies given, the cause turns out not to be the cause at all, but the effect. What topics do the authors tackle? Not to give too much away, but the reason for the crime drop in the mid 1990s had more to do with Roe v. Wade than innovative police tactics. Sumo wrestling is rigged. And having an African-American may impact a person's success in life. Like I said, random topics, possibly not that useful to most of us, but they sure make for interesting reading. If you’re looking for another book, but want entertainment and/or fiction, try either “Inner Voices, Inner Views” by Kingsbury or the great American novel “Katzenjammer” by Jackson McCrae—both first rate.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of our picks, Sept. 7 2006
This review is from: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores The Hidden Side Of Everything (Hardcover)
Our book club is an eclectic bunch---we pick everything from great fiction to "pure fun" books, books such as the Oprah pick "Night," to a fun romp such as McCrae's "Katzenjammer," and yes, even books like this one: "Freakonomics." Is it any wonder we're an educated bunch?!? But frankly, I didn't expect FREAKONOMICS to be such a fun read also. Filled with useful information in a no-nonsense way, you'll fly through this "other side" of how things REALLY work--but be warned. Some of it isn't pretty. Not to be cynical, but there's stuff in here you need to know...anyway, I would recommend this book to those of you who are interested in and more importantly to those who are NOT interested in economics--trust me: you will be after you read Levitt's book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Freaky Economics, Oct. 20 2006
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This review is from: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores The Hidden Side Of Everything (Hardcover)
Wow, I had no idea what I was getting into when I got this book. Expecting a "dry" and boring tome on economics, I instead got a really, really great read that turned me on to how things work, or don't, in the world. I've got to admit, I usually run screaming from the room, from this type of book, but the way the author handles the material is fascinating. The text never gets to heavy or detailed, but make no mistake: this is not a "book for dummies" type of read. Rather, it's a well thought out approach to topical and typical subjects and how we look at them (or should.)

Must also recommend the novels KITE RUNNER and TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE for other great books--though they're fiction.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Freakonomics, Oct. 22 2006
By 
J. Bhaiji "Eternal Realist" (Kingston, On, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores The Hidden Side Of Everything (Hardcover)
so i picked up this book after all the rave reviews and read it as i do most books in one sitting. Unfortunately, it didnt deliver.....a lot of their conclusions are based on statistics (stats 101 will teach anyone the unreliabilty of stats); their overview of general topics is just not general enough for me, a little bit too cynical and try hard for me. May be a generational gap.....but all in all its not a bad read....at the least it does promote thought, which is always a good thing to end with in these types of books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars How exciting!, Oct. 25 2005
By 
Arieh Sochaczevski "Soch" (Montréal, Qc, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores The Hidden Side Of Everything (Hardcover)
This is a book everyone should read. The authors explain connections between events and systems that are at work in our daily lives that most people never even notice. They fail to give all the numbers that would make the most skeptical people happy, but it feels like they leave them out for the sake of keeping the book moving, rather then out of any attempt to hide discrediting information. In fact, there are enough numbers given to more then satisfy most readers.
This book will make you think. It will make you think about things that make you angry, and others that make you glad. Enjoy it.
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Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores The Hidden Side Of Everything
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores The Hidden Side Of Everything by Stephen J. Dubner (Hardcover - March 31 2005)
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