Superfreakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

General Description (from
The New York Times best-selling Freakonomics was a worldwide sensation, selling over four million copies in thirty-five languages and changing the way we look at the world. Now, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner return with SuperFreakonomics, and fans and newcomers alike will find that the freakquel is even bolder, funnier, and more surprising than the first.

Four years in the making, SuperFreakonomics asks not only the tough questions, but the unexpected ones: What’s more dangerous, driving drunk or walking drunk? Why is chemotherapy prescribed so often if it’s so ineffective? Can a sex change boost your salary?

SuperFreakonomics challenges the way we think all over again, exploring the hidden side of everything with such questions as:

  • How is a street prostitute like a department-store Santa?

  • Why are doctors so bad at washing their hands?

  • How much good do car seats do?

  • What’s the best way to catch a terrorist?

  • Did TV cause a rise in crime?

  • What do hurricanes, heart attacks, and highway deaths have in common?

  • Are people hard-wired for altruism or selfishness?

  • Can eating kangaroo save the planet?

  • Which adds more value: a pimp or a Realtor?

Levitt and Dubner mix smart thinking and great storytelling like no one else, whether investigating a solution to global warming or explaining why the price of oral sex has fallen so drastically. By examining how people respond to incentives, they show the world for what it really is – good, bad, ugly, and, in the final analysis, super freaky.

Freakonomics has been imitated many times over – but only now, with SuperFreakonomics, has it met its match.

Why the President Should Read This Book
There is not a lot of difference between the quality of Freakonomics and SuperFreakonimics. SF is slightly better in terms of writing and organization, but not by much. However, they do cover entirely different topics, so if the first left you wanting more, the second certainly satisfies, although it may just leave you panting for the third edition of what will hopefully be a lucrative series for the authors, and an informative one for the general public.

Just like the first, this book does an excellent job of showing unintended consequences, but more than that, it shows how what we often intuitively think would make a difference, does not, and that which we believe would have little effect, does in fact matter quite a bit. Since, as President, one is involve in making “great decisions with great consequences” it would be helpful for the person in that position to be aware of the possibility that what they think will help, may indeed hurt, and that a situation that seems to require much effort, sacrifice, and time may indeed require nothing more than a simple, cost-free solution. But the first step is to be aware of the possibility, and this book delivers that awareness.