When to Rob a Bank: …and 131 More Warped Suggestions and Well-Intended Rants
By Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
Non-fiction, economics, behavior, blog posts
This is the new(ish) book by the Freakonomics duo, unfortunately it is a collection of blog posts from www.freakonomics.com and not new material. They have gone through and expanded some posts and revised the numbers on some others. They also have done a decent job of curating the 8,000 odd posts and selected a fairly wide array of writings.
It is a decent read, and doesn’t take to long to fly through it, but at the same time, my biggest complaint is that it is too broad. They dip their toes into topics ranging from Internet poker, international terrorism, horse racing, tax revenue, health care, environmental protection, and even a possible Freakonomics based TV cop show(didn’t go anywhere). More then once I wished that they would spend more time on a given topic and dive more in depth. Hopefully their next book will cover some of the topics that they raise in When to Rob a Bank.
As a collection of blog posts, it is kind of disjointed. If you are unfamiliar with Freakonomics or Levitt and Dubner it won’t make a whole lot of sense. Although, I’m guessing if you haven’t read Freakonomics or any of their other titles you probably won’t read this one either.
I’d really like to like this better, but given the many different topics that they touch upon and then leave, it’s not much of a solid read.