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

Levitt, Steven D.

eBook - 2009
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
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.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins e-books, 2009.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780061959936
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xvii, 270 p.)
Additional Contributors: Dubner, Stephen J.


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Dec 11, 2014
  • Bazooka_Joe rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Blah-Blah-Blah and Babble-Babble-Babble.

Personally, I didn't take much stock in what authors Levitt & Dubner had to say in SuperFreakonomics. I think I'd be a fool if I did.

But, if you are indeed fascinated by reading about how much horse poo that NYC had to deal with in the early 1900s, or what percentage of Chicago's whores give cops free blowjobs to keep them quiet, or how the cancellation of TV's Leave It To Beaver in 1963 tied in with JFK's assassination, then, yes, perhaps you may actually find this hackneyed book a literal revelation of useless information.

Yes. There were some nice touches of humor used in this book's story-telling, but, on the whole, I found its authors tended to over-dramatize the trivial to the point of being downright ridiculous.

For example - An entire chapter (36 pages) was spent tediously discussing Chicago's hookers and literally trying to tie the sex-trade in with fluctuations in the real estate market. (Yes. The speculating was really that wide-sweeping!)

In a feeble attempt to add some much-needed weight to all of the frivolous nonsense discussed in this book, Levitt & Dubner finished off with a gruelling chapter devoted to finger-pointing and putting a large part of the blame for global warming on the incessant farting of cud-chewing animals.

Any way I looked at it, SuperFreakonomics did not come anywhere near to living up to all of its puzzling, over-rated praise.

Dec 06, 2014
  • sanitycheck rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I liked the book - really entertaining. I was often laughed. You have to have some intellect, some knowledge of statistics and definitely scene of humor in order to enjoy it. The book definitely makes you to think out of box. If you are too serious about Freakonomics you should probably read “Economics For Dummies”.

Mar 15, 2014
  • StarGladiator rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

I cannot understand all the positive comments for such a super-lightweight book: should be titled, Economics for Idiots Who Will Never Understand Economics! Not everybody responds to incentives, and psychos and sociopaths believe incentives entiretly different than the rest of us, and they usually tend to be the CEOs and upper management.

May 16, 2013
  • jimg2000 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

More Freakonomics after the author's first book on the same in 2005. Nice in depth human behavioral analysis based on economic grounds that are not so obvious at first and second looks. None were freaky economics except the lab experiment on monkeys and coins at the end. Hope to read the third Freakernomics installment soon.

Jan 09, 2013
  • rennlc rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

They preface this sequel by stating their hope that It will serve as a conversation starter. If you're interested in another series of quirky observations, this time including subjects like prostitution, geoengineering, and terrorist profiling, SuperFreakonomics will do just that.

Nov 22, 2012
  • Veepea rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Like the previous posters, I preferred Freakonomics. I don’t know if my taste has changed in the intervening years, but I found this book harder to get into, yet still informative and interesting. It makes me wonder how trustworthy studies and statistics are. I know that they are scientific, but how often do preconceived notions of what the conclusion should be skew the outcome?

Jan 31, 2012
  • Drayjayeff rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Levitt and Dubner's book contains lots of fascinating, appropriately freaky and thought-provoking information. I was put off, early on, by their coldly clinical take on topics such as street prostitution in Chicago. Treating a subject of this kind strictly as material for economic analysis may be useful, but it comes across as heartless. That said, I'm glad I kept on reading. Although the volume is oddly designed (very "busy" in places), the illustrations add to the experience as does the quirky, self-deprecating humor supplied by its authors. On the whole, an enjoyable read.

Aug 02, 2011
  • dsander rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

This one was just OK, Not as good as the first freakonomics but still interesting.

May 30, 2011

In SuperFreakonomics, the follow-up to their 4 million-copy-selling Freakonomics, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have fired yet another provocative salvo at conventional wisdom. In their crusade to make economics ("the dismal science") less, well, dismal, Levitt and Dubner now venture into colorful topics such as a "practically free" solution to climate change, the legacy of Robert S. McNamara, human organ sales and "drunk-walking," in each instance using economics' science and statistics to explain the unseen causes of the vagaries of behavior. The results are, expectedly, fascinating.


Mar 11, 2011
  • lilwordworm rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I really enjoyed Freakonomics so I put Superfreakonomics on my Xmas wish list. I was disappointed by this sequel though. I think some of the questions are less relevant to economics and are controversial just for the sake of being controversial. Ah, fame. It gets the best of us.

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