WTF?! Indeed!

Like most bloggers, I assign each of my posts to one or more Categories, which are listed in small print somewhere near the top of the post. Among the categories I use are “Economics”, “Politics”, “Policy”, “Math”, “Logic”, “Cool Stuff”, “History”, “Oddities” and “WTF?”. The last of these is perfect for this post, which is written to call your attention to Peter Leeson‘s rollicking new book WTF?!: An Economic Tour of the Weird.

(Edited to add: I see now that the jacket copy on Leeson’s book describes it as “rollicking”. Apparently I’m not the only one who thought this was the right adjective here.)

Leeson, some of whose work I’ve blogged about here in the past, takes us on a tour of some of the world’s seemingly most inexplicable behavior — both historical and contemporary — and uses economic insight to render that behavior explicable after all. His explanations are generally plausible and provocative, though I’m sure many an insightful reader will find plenty to argue with. That, after all, is part of the fun.

Here are the blurbs from the back of the book:

This book has a surprise—not to mention a puckish joke—on every page. It’s strange, it’s fascinating, and it’s one of the most original books I’ve ever read.

—Tim Harford, author of The Undercover Economist

The most interesting book I have read in years! Peter Leeson displays his unique talent: unearthing mankind’s seemingly craziest behaviors, and then showing that these behaviors, against all odds, ultimately make perfect sense. WTF?! is like Freakonomics on steroids.

—Steven D. Levitt, coauthor of Freakonomics

A fascinating tour of the world’s strangest customs and behaviors, led by a brilliant, funny, and eccentric tour guide. It’s okay to gawk, he says, but it’s even better to empathize and, armed with Leeson’s insights, there’s no reason why we can’t do both.

—Steven E. Landsburg, author of The Armchair Economist

Your initial reaction might be ‘WTF!?’ How can medieval trials by ordeal, wife sales, and divine curses all boil down to rational economic behavior? But Leeson will lead you deftly through the logic and history behind these seemingly senseless rituals. Keep an open mind and this book will surprise, teach, and entertain!

—Andrei Shleifer, Harvard University

Enjoy!

Share/Save

3 Responses to “WTF?! Indeed!”


  1. 1 1 Ken B

    Now this guy picks great book names. He’s the Invisble Hook guy I mentioned. Don’t ask us, ask him!

  2. 2 2 Richard D.

    SL: “… the world’s seemingly most inexplicable behavior — both historical and contemporary — and uses economic insight to render that behavior explicable after all.”

    What’s your take on Dan Ariely?

  3. 3 3 Paul Ralley

    Off topic, thank you for your talk at the IEA today. It was a pleasure to say high!

  1. 1 Some Links - Cafe Hayek
  2. 2 Some Links – Cafe Hayek – Courtier en Bourse

Leave a Reply