A Very Good Year

Whatever the reason may be, Freakonomics had a very good year in 2005. It has been recognized in year-end roundups from Milwaukee to India and in publications specializing in sports, music, celebrity gossip, and, of course, economics and books. It’s been called everything from hip and sexy to dry and grating– and those were just the positive reviews.

For those with time to kill, here’s a list of Freakonomics “best of” links:

The New York Times:
Notable
Most Blogged about
(and a list of blog links)

New York Magazine:
Best Nonfiction

Amazon.com:
Bestsellers of 2005
Editors’ Picks

Amazon.ca (Canada):
Bestsellers of 2005
Editors’ Picks

USA Today:
Tops for literate gift-givers (not to mention quirky)

Publishers Weekly:
Best Titles
Listen Up Awards (audio)

The Economist:
One of the “books of the year” (no link)

Fast Company:
Best Books of 2005

People Magazine:
#7 Bestselling book (no link)

Other publications in the US:
New Statesman

Arkanas Democrat-Gazette (subscription required)

Boston Globe (Larry Summers’s favorite book of ’05)

Dallas/Fort Worth Star Telegram (“It” book of ’05)

WTOP Radio (Nonfiction that mattered)

Sporting News

And the U.K.:
The Mirror

The Scotsman

Online:

Ask Men

iTunes editors’ pick

Freakonomics even had some success with awards. From winning The Quill and the Joseph-Beth/Davis-Kidd Non-Fiction Book of the Year to making the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs short list, it’s been a pretty great year.

All we can say is thank you everyone, and happy new year.


amitrajit

HAPPY NEW YEAR to both of you and all the staff that keeps this site running. Are we going to see a FREAKONOMICS 2 this year ???

3612

Hats off to you, the Inestimable Rachel, toiling back there in the dimly lit recesses of the office with your team of Bob Crachitts and Bartlebys cranking out those book plate address labels. I'm hoping the co-authors have seen fit to send in an extra ration of holiday grog. The Freak year is dead. Long live the Freak year!

mikej

My wife of 41 years has developed some interest in what economists do after she read Freakonomics. That's something I was never able to accomplish, even as my teaching economics kept a roof over our heads and food on the table for all that time. Thanks.

daedalus702

I am a big fan of Freakonomics, but I don't understand the authors' apparent desire for tireless self-promotion on this website. There are so many posts that amount to variation on a theme of "we don't understand why these people think we (or Leavitt in particular) is so great."

That is like repeatedly telling people "Bob thinks I'm genius, although I'm not sure why."

Repeatedly combining accolades with "Who, me, brilliant?" amounts to fatuous expressions of humility. And co-author "knightings" like Dubner's repeated slavish praise of Leavitt, have grown tiresome. Sure, every once in a while, but hasn't it gotten a little much!

Who once said one should beware of believing one's own press, good or bad?

I'm sorry to sound harsh. As I said, I loved Freakonomics -- I'm a slow reader and I rarely read things in one sitting, but I didn't put Freakonomics down until I was finished with it. I like Leavitt too -- I sat in on his class at UofC, and he seemed (and seems) like an absolutely "stand-up" guy. Particularly coming from a field awash in ideological handwaving and the like, reading a guy like Leavitt is like drinking from an oasis in a desert.

But come on guys. All the self-promotion makes it sound like one of you is planning on running for office! People who visit the website regularly, like myself, already think you're great. We don't need to hear it over and over again. Let the accolades speak for themselves.

Read more...

daedalus702

^ I'm from sociology -- the field I believe is "awash in ideological handwaving and the like." I didn't mean econ, but I think it sounded like I did.

econopete

daedalus702:

First, that last post was made by Rachel, who I think is hired by the publishing company. (Please correct me if I am wrong.)

I believe these authors have every right to promote themselves shamelessly. My argument is lengthy and I will be talking about myself, but if you have the patience, you may understand why they are amazed that people think so well of them.

For whatever reason, people take to me very well. They want me to be around, they want me to help them solve problems, they tell me how smart and diligent I am. Several individuals requested that I take an acting presidency of a campus organization representing 2/3rds of my college with a significant budget; 9,000 students and over $50,000. I had to set meeting agendas among 13 other students, (many of whom were graduate students, some were pursuing MBAs) help design surveys, meet continually with administrators, assist in programming for events, and so forth. Every person I came into contact with told me what a wonderful job I was doing. Fellow students--they had known me only a month--saved my brother and I front row seats for a roundtable session with Rudy Giuliani. I did this while taking classes full time, holding a part time job, wrote the economics/alumni newsletter and served as a treasurer for a political campaign fund.

But I do not feel I am smart. I graduated with a 2.75 and was diagnosed with a learning disability in the process. I feel that I am rather dull and dim. I struggle constantly with my resume and cover letters because I don't understand why I am a "good person".

When I told a friend of mine, someone who I held meetings with, that I'm now working as a cashier at a wholesale club, she was flabberghasted that I hadn't found something better. My girlfriend tries so hard to make me see how I am a great, wonderful person, and she will list concrete examples, but I listen with disbelief. I have undergone much of my life being criticized by my teachers, professors, and family saying that I don't work hard enough, that I'm lazy, or I receive sub-par grades. (Though, a C at my school is actually average.) It took me over 6 years to get a bachelor's degree. To this day I come to tears when I think about how I failed the class of a professor of whom I was a research assistant, and how desperately it meant for me to pass.

So when people say very positive things about me, I try to keep these small moments in mind to remind myself that I am a person of value. I remind myself of them in my blog, and keep their letters around me. I'm sure that just getting to the New York Times and U of Chicago took resilience that we can only dream of, and that they are amazed that they have suddenly become so popular for material that would otherwise not be interesting. I don't know if either of the authors have struggled quite to the extent I have, but I would be surprised if they did not submit, at some point, to tears of rage and despair, thinking their hard work was wasted and fruitless. If they have not, then they are among very, very few.

I say let them enjoy tooting their own horn. Besides, wouldn't you want Dr. Levitt to run for office?

Read more...

timothy

India-born entrepreneurs empower US voters

Shukoor Ahmed ran for a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates in 1998, after coming to America a decade earlier from Hyderabad, India. Campaigning door-to-door, he was surprised so many voters did not know who represented them!

After his race ended slightly short of victory, he took advantage of his Master's degree in Computer Technology and Political Science to build StateDemocracy.org, a website he launched in 2001 to connect citizens and lawmakers. His website's motto encapsulated its mission:

amitrajit

HAPPY NEW YEAR to both of you and all the staff that keeps this site running. Are we going to see a FREAKONOMICS 2 this year ???

3612

Hats off to you, the Inestimable Rachel, toiling back there in the dimly lit recesses of the office with your team of Bob Crachitts and Bartlebys cranking out those book plate address labels. I'm hoping the co-authors have seen fit to send in an extra ration of holiday grog. The Freak year is dead. Long live the Freak year!

mikej

My wife of 41 years has developed some interest in what economists do after she read Freakonomics. That's something I was never able to accomplish, even as my teaching economics kept a roof over our heads and food on the table for all that time. Thanks.

daedalus702

I am a big fan of Freakonomics, but I don't understand the authors' apparent desire for tireless self-promotion on this website. There are so many posts that amount to variation on a theme of "we don't understand why these people think we (or Leavitt in particular) is so great."

That is like repeatedly telling people "Bob thinks I'm genius, although I'm not sure why."

Repeatedly combining accolades with "Who, me, brilliant?" amounts to fatuous expressions of humility. And co-author "knightings" like Dubner's repeated slavish praise of Leavitt, have grown tiresome. Sure, every once in a while, but hasn't it gotten a little much!

Who once said one should beware of believing one's own press, good or bad?

I'm sorry to sound harsh. As I said, I loved Freakonomics -- I'm a slow reader and I rarely read things in one sitting, but I didn't put Freakonomics down until I was finished with it. I like Leavitt too -- I sat in on his class at UofC, and he seemed (and seems) like an absolutely "stand-up" guy. Particularly coming from a field awash in ideological handwaving and the like, reading a guy like Leavitt is like drinking from an oasis in a desert.

But come on guys. All the self-promotion makes it sound like one of you is planning on running for office! People who visit the website regularly, like myself, already think you're great. We don't need to hear it over and over again. Let the accolades speak for themselves.

Read more...

daedalus702

^ I'm from sociology -- the field I believe is "awash in ideological handwaving and the like." I didn't mean econ, but I think it sounded like I did.

econopete

daedalus702:

First, that last post was made by Rachel, who I think is hired by the publishing company. (Please correct me if I am wrong.)

I believe these authors have every right to promote themselves shamelessly. My argument is lengthy and I will be talking about myself, but if you have the patience, you may understand why they are amazed that people think so well of them.

For whatever reason, people take to me very well. They want me to be around, they want me to help them solve problems, they tell me how smart and diligent I am. Several individuals requested that I take an acting presidency of a campus organization representing 2/3rds of my college with a significant budget; 9,000 students and over $50,000. I had to set meeting agendas among 13 other students, (many of whom were graduate students, some were pursuing MBAs) help design surveys, meet continually with administrators, assist in programming for events, and so forth. Every person I came into contact with told me what a wonderful job I was doing. Fellow students--they had known me only a month--saved my brother and I front row seats for a roundtable session with Rudy Giuliani. I did this while taking classes full time, holding a part time job, wrote the economics/alumni newsletter and served as a treasurer for a political campaign fund.

But I do not feel I am smart. I graduated with a 2.75 and was diagnosed with a learning disability in the process. I feel that I am rather dull and dim. I struggle constantly with my resume and cover letters because I don't understand why I am a "good person".

When I told a friend of mine, someone who I held meetings with, that I'm now working as a cashier at a wholesale club, she was flabberghasted that I hadn't found something better. My girlfriend tries so hard to make me see how I am a great, wonderful person, and she will list concrete examples, but I listen with disbelief. I have undergone much of my life being criticized by my teachers, professors, and family saying that I don't work hard enough, that I'm lazy, or I receive sub-par grades. (Though, a C at my school is actually average.) It took me over 6 years to get a bachelor's degree. To this day I come to tears when I think about how I failed the class of a professor of whom I was a research assistant, and how desperately it meant for me to pass.

So when people say very positive things about me, I try to keep these small moments in mind to remind myself that I am a person of value. I remind myself of them in my blog, and keep their letters around me. I'm sure that just getting to the New York Times and U of Chicago took resilience that we can only dream of, and that they are amazed that they have suddenly become so popular for material that would otherwise not be interesting. I don't know if either of the authors have struggled quite to the extent I have, but I would be surprised if they did not submit, at some point, to tears of rage and despair, thinking their hard work was wasted and fruitless. If they have not, then they are among very, very few.

I say let them enjoy tooting their own horn. Besides, wouldn't you want Dr. Levitt to run for office?

Read more...

timothy

India-born entrepreneurs empower US voters

Shukoor Ahmed ran for a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates in 1998, after coming to America a decade earlier from Hyderabad, India. Campaigning door-to-door, he was surprised so many voters did not know who represented them!

After his race ended slightly short of victory, he took advantage of his Master's degree in Computer Technology and Political Science to build StateDemocracy.org, a website he launched in 2001 to connect citizens and lawmakers. His website's motto encapsulated its mission: