Sat Apr 28, 2007

Freakonomics Review

Following up on the ongoing discussion about Freakonomics, my review of the book just came out in Sociological Forum, and I think it overlaps a bit with some of the things Omar was saying in the comments to Fabio’s post. (A layout issue in headline makes it look as though I’m the author of the book and Levitt and Dubner are reviewing it. Sadly for my bank manager, this is not the case.)

As it happens, this essay started out life as a blog post I wrote for Crooked Timber’s Seminar on the book. In a further twist, a revised version of Steve Levitt’s response to the seminar contributions now appears as part of the revised and expanded edition of Freakonomics issued in late December. So, in effect, the book incorporates a response to my review before the review itself appeared in print. Not quite Doug Hofstader’s idea of a book called Reviews of this Book (which would containing nothing except cross-referenced reviews of itself), but still appropriately freaky.