#Friday56 & #BookBeginnings: Freakonomics

Anyone living in the the United States in the early 1990s and paying even a whisper of atention to the nightly news or a daily paper could be forgiven for having been scared out of his skin.
- p. 1 (from "Introduction: The Hidden Side of Everything") 

For Friday 56
By the 1920s, a revived Klan claimed 80 million members, including President Warren G. Harding, who reportedly took his Klan oath in the Green Room of the White House. 
- p. 56 (from the chapter entitled "How is the Ku Klux Klan Like a Group of Real Estate Agents?")

Synopsis of Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything: One of today's most original thinkers turns our view of the world upside down...

Life can be baffling and chaotic, and sometimes it's hard to make sense of it all. The answer, explains groundbreaking thinker Steven Levitt, lies in economics. Not ordinary economics, but freakonomics. It is at the heart of everything we see and do and the subjects that bedevil us daily: from parenting to crime, sport to politics, health to education, fear to traffic jams.

In Freakonomics Levitt turns conventional economics on its head, stripping away the jargon and calculations of the 'experts' to explore the riddles of everyday life and examine topics such as: how chips are more likely to kill you than a terrorist attack; why sportsmen cheat and how fraud can be spotted; why violent crime can be linked not to gun laws, policing or poverty, but to abortion; and why a road is more efficient when everyone travels at 20mph. Ultimately, he shows us that economics is all about how people get what they want, and what makes them do it.

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© guiltless readingMaira Gall