15 episodes

From the podcast that explores the hidden side of everything, hear authors like you’ve never heard them before. Stephen Dubner and a stable of Freakonomics friends talk with the writers of mind-bending books, and we hear the best excerpts as well. You’ll learn about skill versus chance, the American discomfort with death, the secret life of dogs, and much more.

The Freakonomics Radio Book Club Freakonomics

    • Society & Culture

From the podcast that explores the hidden side of everything, hear authors like you’ve never heard them before. Stephen Dubner and a stable of Freakonomics friends talk with the writers of mind-bending books, and we hear the best excerpts as well. You’ll learn about skill versus chance, the American discomfort with death, the secret life of dogs, and much more.

    15. Does Philosophy Still Matter?

    15. Does Philosophy Still Matter?

    It used to be at the center of our conversations about politics and society. Scott Hershovitz is the author of "Nasty, Brutish, and Short," in which he argues that philosophy still has a lot to say about work, justice, and parenthood.

    • 49 min
    14. Why Do Most Ideas Fail to Scale?

    14. Why Do Most Ideas Fail to Scale?

    In a new book called "The Voltage Effect," the economist John List — who has already revolutionized how his profession does research — is trying to start a scaling revolution. In this installment of the Freakonomics Radio Book Club, List teaches us how to avoid false positives, how to know whether a given success is due to the chef or the ingredients, and how to practice “optimal quitting.”

    • 48 min
    13. What’s Wrong With Shortcuts?

    13. What’s Wrong With Shortcuts?

    You know the saying: “There are no shortcuts in life.” What if that saying is just wrong? In his new book "Thinking Better: The Art of the Shortcut in Math and Life," the mathematician Marcus du Sautoy argues that shortcuts can be applied to practically anything: music, psychotherapy, even politics. Our latest installment of the Freakonomics Radio Book Club.

    • 43 min
    12. “This Didn't End the Way It’s Supposed to End.”

    12. “This Didn't End the Way It’s Supposed to End.”

    The N.B.A. superstar Chris Bosh was still competing at the highest level when a blood clot abruptly ended his career. In his new book, Letters to a Young Athlete, Bosh covers the highlights and the struggles. In this installment of the Freakonomics Radio Book Club, he talks with guest host Angela Duckworth.

    • 32 min
    11. The Mom Who Stole the Blueprints for the Atomic Bomb

    11. The Mom Who Stole the Blueprints for the Atomic Bomb

    To her neighbors in the English countryside, the woman known as Mrs. Burton was a cake-baking mother of three. To the Soviet Union, she was an invaluable Cold War operative. Ben Macintyre, author of Agent Sonya: Moscow’s Most Daring Wartime Spy, explains how the woman who fed America’s atomic secrets to the Russians also struggled to balance her family and her cause. Hosted by Sarah Lyall.

    • 43 min
    10. Check the Data: It’s a Man’s World

    10. Check the Data: It’s a Man’s World

    Do you think public bathrooms are too small, smartphones are too big, and public transit just wasn’t made for you? Then you’re probably a woman. In her book Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men, Caroline Criado Perez argues that products and processes — from medications to snowplow routes — have historically been tailored for the “standard male.” Hosted by Maria Konnikova.

    • 41 min

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