21 episodes

We tell our children unsettling fairy tales to teach them valuable life lessons, but these Cautionary Tales are for the education of the grown ups – and they are all true. Tim Harford (Financial Times, BBC, author of “The Data Detective” and “The Undercover Economist”) brings you stories of awful human error, tragic catastrophes, daring heists and hilarious fiascos. They'll delight you, scare you, but also make you wiser. iHeartMedia is the exclusive podcast partner of Pushkin Industries. 

Cautionary Tale‪s‬ Pushkin Industries

    • History
    • 4.7 • 2.4K Ratings

We tell our children unsettling fairy tales to teach them valuable life lessons, but these Cautionary Tales are for the education of the grown ups – and they are all true. Tim Harford (Financial Times, BBC, author of “The Data Detective” and “The Undercover Economist”) brings you stories of awful human error, tragic catastrophes, daring heists and hilarious fiascos. They'll delight you, scare you, but also make you wiser. iHeartMedia is the exclusive podcast partner of Pushkin Industries. 

    Martin Luther King Jr; the Jewelry Genius; and the Art of Public Speaking

    Martin Luther King Jr; the Jewelry Genius; and the Art of Public Speaking

    One speechmaker inspired millions with his words, the other utterly destroyed his own multi-million-dollar business with just a few phrases.
    Civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr (played by Jeffrey Wright of Westworld, The Hunger Games, and the James Bond films) and jewelry store owner Gerald Ratner offer starkly contrasting stories on when you should stick to the script and when you should take a risk.
    Read more about Tim's work at http://timharford.com/
    Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

    • 40 min
    Cautionary Tales returns February 26th

    Cautionary Tales returns February 26th

    We shouldn't just gawk at the misfortune and stupidity of others - we should try to learn lessons to save us from enduring the same pain. Economist and writer Tim Harford returns with a new season of Cautionary Tales introducing us to idiotic hijackers, murderous doctors and brazen art forgers - as well as heroes such as Martin Luther King Jr and Florence Nightingale.
    This season includes the acting talents of Helena Bonham Carter (The Crown, Fight Club, Howard's End) and Jeffrey Wright (Westworld, The Hunger Games, and the James Bond films).
    Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

    • 2 min
    Bonus: Why We Believe What Isn't True (with Axios Today)

    Bonus: Why We Believe What Isn't True (with Axios Today)

    We're no stranger to stories about misinformation or deliberate disinformation. We live in a world where now more than ever, you have to be skeptical. That skepticism can be healthy, but it also can be used to cast more doubt and misinformation on data and statistics that are very real. Tim Harford talks to Niala Boodhoo, from the news podcast Axios Today, about why people believe things that aren't true.

    Check out Axios Today, where Niala delivers the news every weekday - in just 10 minutes.

    Subscribe to Axios Today wherever you get your podcasts.
    Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

    • 13 min
    The Data Detective

    The Data Detective

    Cautionary Tales' host Tim Harford has a new book - The Data Detective - setting out ten commandments for understanding the numbers, charts, graphs and statistics that bombard us every day. In this free extract, Tim explains his extra "golden" rule that allows us to observe all his other commandments - be curious. Enjoy.
    Cautionary Tales returns February 26.
    The Data Detective (Riverhead Books) is published in the US and Canada on February 2. The same book is available elsewhere under the title How to Make the World Add Up.
    (Audio excerpted courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio from The Data Detective by Tim Harford, narrated by the author.)
    Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

    • 36 min
    BONUS: Storks, Smoking and the Power of Doubt

    BONUS: Storks, Smoking and the Power of Doubt

    It's easy to mock statistics or cast doubt on them... but we do so at our peril. Undermining our trust in facts and figures can cause great harm, and even death. We should guard against it.
    Tim Harford looks at how the seeds of doubt are planted in this mini-episode of Cautionary Tales to celebrate the release of his latest book.
    “How To Make The World Add Up” is out now in much of the world, while listeners in US/Canada can pre-order it under the title "The Data Detective" - ahead of its release in early 2021.
    Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

    • 10 min
    How To End A Pandemic

    How To End A Pandemic

    The eradication of smallpox is one of humanity's great achievements - but the battle against the virus was fought by the most unlikely of alliances. How did the breakthrough happen - and can we guarantee that the world is still safe from smallpox?
    This episode owes a debt to Stephen Coss’s book The Fever of 1721, Ibram X. Kendi’s book Stamped From the Beginning, and to an article about Dark Winter written by Tara O’Toole, Michael Mair and Tomas Inglesby.
    For a full list of our sources please see the shownotes at http://timharford.com/
    Tim's latest books 'Fifty Inventions That Shaped The Modern Economy' and 'The Next Fifty Things That Made The Modern Economy' are available now.
    Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
2.4K Ratings

2.4K Ratings

jig-jag-swag ,

Great show, Love it

Great Show, Love It!

Morrissey's wife ,

One of my favorite podcasts

Every episode leaves you with a gem of wisdom applicable to your own life.

AdamSDoyle ,

Love It

Wonderfully insightful series.

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