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When to Rob a Bank
Cover of When to Rob a Bank
When to Rob a Bank
...And 131 More Warped Suggestions and Well-Intended Rants
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In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the landmark book Freakonomics comes this curated collection from the most readable economics blog in the universe. It's the perfect solution for the millions...
In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the landmark book Freakonomics comes this curated collection from the most readable economics blog in the universe. It's the perfect solution for the millions...
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  • In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the landmark book Freakonomics comes this curated collection from the most readable economics blog in the universe. It's the perfect solution for the millions of readers who love all things Freakonomics. Surprising and erudite, eloquent and witty, When to Rob a Bank demonstrates the brilliance that has made the Freakonomics guys an international sensation, with more than 7 million books sold in 40 languages, and 150 million downloads of their Freakonomics Radio podcast.

    When Freakonomics was first published, the authors started a blog—and they've kept it up. The writing is more casual, more personal, even more outlandish than in their books. In When to Rob a Bank, they ask a host of typically off-center questions: Why don't flight attendants get tipped? If you were a terrorist, how would you attack? And why does KFC always run out of fried chicken?

    Over the past decade, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have published more than 8,000 blog posts on the Freakonomics website. Many of them, they freely admit, were rubbish. But now they've gone through and picked the best of the best. You'll discover what people lie about, and why; the best way to cut gun deaths; why it might be time for a sex tax; and, yes, when to rob a bank. (Short answer: never; the ROI is terrible.) You'll also learn a great deal about Levitt and Dubner's own quirks and passions, from gambling and golf to backgammon and the abolition of the penny.

About the Author-

  • Steven D. Levitt, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago, was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal, given to the most influential American economist under forty. He is also a founder of The Greatest Good, which applies Freakonomics-style thinking to business and philanthropy.

    Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning journalist and radio and TV personality, has worked for the New York Times and published three non-Freakonomics books. He is the host of Freakonomics Radio and Tell Me Something I Don't Know.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine This is an odd book, a collection of snippets of logic and advice from a blog created by the authors of FREAKONOMICS. Author Stephen Dubner has a pleasant voice and is easy to listen to. His coauthor, Steven Levitt, is not as polished and speaks more slowly. Many diverse topics are discussed, such as why do people buy bottled water when they can get it for free. The answers sometimes seem rushed or fleeting but are are always interesting. Professional narrators Erik Bergmann and Therese Plummer take on additional narration duties. This is a good audiobook for commutes. M.S. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 6, 2015
    As coauthors Levitt and Dubner explain at the start of this delightful collection, a decade ago, concurrent with the publication of their book Freakonomics, they decided to start a blog with the same name. Eight thousand posts later, they're still writing, even though the blog generates no income and probably cannibalizes sales from their books. For the site's anniversary, they've finally bowed to reader demands to turn it into a book. The result is this energetic, charming assortment of posts, thematically arranged, on topics as varied as terrorism, restoration of the draft, getting rid of the penny, car-seat safety, obesity, the U.S. crackdown on Internet poker, steroid use in the Tour de France, the D.C. gun ban, and "No Gas Day." Lively, self-deprecating writing ensures an entertaining read for fans and new readers alike. It seems likely to prove the authors right in their gamble that even content available for free can be a viable product, especially with such a large, devoted fanbase. Agent: Suzanne Gluck, WME.

  • Library Journal

    May 1, 2015

    Levitt and Dubner, coauthors of Freakonomics, SuperFreakonomics, and Think Like a Freak, return with more of their signature humor and economic perspective on everyday life, this time with excerpts from their blog (freakonomics.com). Each of the 132 short entries was written by one of the site's bloggers--mostly Levitt and Dubner, but they also highlight pieces by other contributors. Posts were composed by a single author, rather than by both as in their books. Chapters are organized thematically, and topics range from the price of oil and the time necessary to improve a golf swing to the customer service at KFC and the best day of the week to rob a bank. Since this compilation comes from actual blog posts, it frequently references events that are no longer current, but most topics are still relevant. VERDICT This book will be a hit with fans of Freakonomics, though those who aren't familiar with Levitt and Dubner's previous works will want to start with those. [See Prepub Alert, 11/3/14.]--Elizabeth Nelson, McHenry Cty. Coll. Lib., Crystal Lake, IL

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • School Library Journal

    November 1, 2015

    After the success of their first book, Freakonomics (William Morrow, 2005), Levitt and Dubner started a blog at freakonomics.com as a place for their readers to interact with them and to pose questions and offer, as the subtitle of this book states, "warped suggestions and well-intended rants." This book is a compilation of the best of those blog posts over the past 10 years. This book culls the best posts from the blog and puts the entries in one place, making them easy to browse and giving the authors a chance to update some of the posts with new information. Unfortunately, there isn't any methodical organization to the content and some of the topics are so old as to be irrelevant (for example, do readers really care that in 2006 Levitt predicted that Barack Obama would one day be president?). However, it's a great introduction for teens to the general idea of looking more deeply into assumptions about terrorism, cheating, endangered species, and the locavore movement, to name just a few. Levitt and Dubner's writing is breezy and often laugh-out-loud funny as well as thought provoking and eye-opening. VERDICT Leave a copy of this book sitting on a table in the teen section, and wait for them to start reading snippets of it aloud to one another.-Sarah Flowers, formerly of Santa Clara County Library

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal

    December 1, 2014

    Levitt, William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, and award-winning journalist Dubner hit pay dirt with Freakonomics, SuperFreakonomics, and Think Like a Freak--all international best sellers. Here's a carefully culled collection from their popular blog.

    Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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When to Rob a Bank
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...And 131 More Warped Suggestions and Well-Intended Rants
Steven D. Levitt
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...And 131 More Warped Suggestions and Well-Intended Rants
Steven D. Levitt
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