- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: University of California Press; First Edition, Updated edition (August 7, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0520274709
- ISBN-13: 978-0520274709
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 67 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Damned Lies and Statistics: Untangling Numbers from the Media, Politicians, and Activists First Edition, Updated Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service we offer sellers that lets them store their products in Amazon's fulfillment centers, and we directly pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products. Something we hope you'll especially enjoy: FBA items qualify for FREE Shipping and Amazon Prime.
If you're a seller, Fulfillment by Amazon can help you increase your sales. We invite you to learn more about Fulfillment by Amazon .
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From the Inside Flap
"Best is our leading authority on social problems today. His detective work in exposing the spurious use of statistics is essential to constructive social science. No one who speaks for the public welfare can ignore his powerful work."―Jonathan B. Imber, Editor-in-Chief, Society
"Joel Best is at it again. In Damned Lies and Statistics, he shows how statistics are manipulated, mismanaged, misrepresented, and massaged by officials and other powerful groups to promote their agendas. He is a master at examining taken-for-granted "facts" and debunking them through careful sociological scrutiny."―Patricia Adler, author of Peer Power
"A real page turner. Best is the John Grisham of sociology!"―James Holstein, author of The New Language of Qualitative Method
"In our era, numbers are as much a staple of political debates as stories. And just as stories so often turn into fables, so Best shows that we often believe the most implausible of numbers--to the detriment of us all."―Peter Reuter, co-author of Drug War Heresies: Learning from Other Vices,Times and Places
About the Author
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Best adequately picks up the subject matter just before Darrell Huff's timeless text, How to Lie with Statistics, begins. Like Huff, Best argues that people have incentives to put numbers in front of us (Huff refers to this as axe-grinding), and it behooves us to know who is putting the statistic in front of us, why they chose to put this statistic before us, and most importantly, just how they derived this statistic.
Because proponents (and opponents) of an issue, whom Best describes as 'Advocates', can control the way a statistic is generated and presented, we must closely scrutinize the numbers before us so that we can 'untangle the few facts from the various fictions'. Toward this end, the book gives the reader some very helpful questions he or she can ask when attempting to interpret a descriptive (summary) statistic.
The practical utility of Best's text is not solely limited to issues in the social sciences. One could easily apply Best's argument to, for example, the ongoing environmental debate. As such, this book is a vital component in developing critical thinking skills that can be applied in all areas both personal and professional.
Finally, although this text focuses exclusively on descriptive statistics, limiting itself to contentious and controversial topics in the social sciences, readers should take note that Mr. Best is not presenting a truly original and comprehensive treatment of the subject matter. For example, David S. Moore, author of the text Statistics, Concepts and Controversies, provides a concise, yet rigorous, entertaining and accessible treatment of the same subject matter- including a wider range of examples culled from the fields of education, social and medical sciences, all in the first fifty pages of his text.
Damned Lies and Statistics is on my required reading list. If more people understood how they were being numerically manipulated from all angles, we'd all be better off. And I believe that is the ultimate job of a writer.
The explanation on how a statistic can be misunderstood or misrepresent in simple English.
It is helpful because I can spot more loopholes in statistics now.
On the other hand, if a need arises. I can use these methods to mislead people!