We didn’t feel much pressure writing that first book because we genuinely thought few people would read it. (Levitt’s father agreed and said it was “immoral” to accept even a penny up front.) These low expectations liberated us to write about any and everything we found worthwhile. So we had a pretty good time.
We were surprised and thrilled when the book became a hit. As profitable as it might have been to pump out a quick follow-up — think Freakonomics for Dummies or Chicken Soup for the Freakonomics Soul — we wanted to wait until we had done enough research that we couldn’t help but write it all down. So here we finally are, more than four years later, with a second book that we believe is easily better than the first. Of course it is up to you, not us, to say if that is true — or perhaps if it’s as bad as some people feared our first book might be.
If nothing else, our publishers have resigned themselves to our unyielding bad taste: when we proposed that this new book be called SuperFreakonomics, they didn’t even blink.