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Keywords

Book Review, Quantitative Reasoning, Statistical Literacy, Derrick Neiderman, David Boyum, Michael Blastland, Andrew Dilnot

Abstract

Niederman, Derrick, and Boyum, David. What the Numbers Say: A Field Guide to Mastering Our Numerical World. (New York: Broadway Books/Random House, 2003). 288 pp. Hardcover, ISBN 978-0-7679-0998-3. Paperback, 978-0-7679-0999-0. Available as an eBook.

Blastland, Michael, and Dilnot, Andrew. The Numbers Game: The Commonsense Guide to Understanding Numbers in the News, in Politics and in Life. (New York: Gotham Books/Penguin, 2009). 192 pp. Hardcover, ISBN 978-1-5924-0423-0. Paperback, ISBN 978-1-5924-0485-8. Available as an eBook.

Popular books on quantitative literacy need to be easy to read, reasonably comprehensive in scope, and include examples that are thought-provoking and memorable. In contrast to textbooks, popular books can dispense with exercises and structure, and instead offer an informal voice and an inviting style. In this genre John Allen Paulos’ Innumeracy is widely regarded as a classic. However, Paulos' book is out of date, and it takes a whimsical approach to many topics. The goal of this review is to acquaint the reader with two more recent entries into the genre. What the Numbers Say by Derrick Niederman and David Boyum takes an expansive view of quantitative literacy. The Numbers Game by Michael Blastland and Andrew Dilnot, on the other hand, focuses on reasoning surrounding statistics and uncertainty in contemporary society. The Numbers Game is a revised American edition of The Tiger That Isn’t, which grew out of a BBC radio program, More or Less.

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.5038/1936-4660.3.1.9