Counting Down to “Beyond Freakonomics”
Tuesday, Sept. 23, is slowly yet surely approaching, and the closer it gets, the more excited I become to hear Steven D. Levitt speak. Not only is his lecture being presented by my employer, the Show-Me Institute, but he will be speaking at my school, the John Cook School of Business at St. Louis University. I will literally have to walk only 50 yards from my apartment to hear one of my favorite contemporary authors speak in my own back yard. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Steven D. Levitt is a rock star among economists, a title that would have been an oxymoron a few years ago. The book he co-authored, Freakonomics, has taken economics out from the dark, dusty classroom and into the pop-culture spotlight. To call his work “nontraditional” or “unconventional” would be an understatement. Quite abruptly, Freakonomics has become one of the foundations of an economic education. Repeatedly, I have had professors assign different sections of the book as in-class readings. I cannot recommend this book highly enough to anyone, whether or not they have a background or interest in economics. Then again, I’m posting on a free-market economic think tank blog, so I’m sure those reading this are familiar with Freakonomics.
Since beginning my study of economics at SLU a few years ago, people have suggested I read Freakonomics, but I didn’t take the time to do so till this past summer. Frankly, I wish I had gotten around to reading it sooner. The book analyzes topics I would never have dreamed to associate with economics, such as sumo wrestling results and inner-city gang financing. Levitt successfully shows that there is a transparent economic layer to nearly anything you can imagine. Levitt’s speech on the 23rd promises to be both entertaining and thought-provoking. I could try to predict the topics he will cover, but I believe such an efforts would be in vein. Nothing at this point would surprise me. I would be in a state of euphoria if I heard any official news about the Internet rumors concerning a possible sequel, Superfreakonomics.
The talk will be held Tuesday, September 23rd, an the Anheuser-Busch Auditorium in the lower level of the John Cook School of Business at St. Louis University. I hope to see you there.