Search Results: "William Poundstone"


BOOK REVIEW

PRISONER'S DILEMMA by William Poundstone
Released: Feb. 1, 1992

"The fact that von Neumann, a lifelong cynic, had a deathbed conversion to Catholicism not so subtly underscores the presence of paradoxes and contradictions that characterize human as opposed to mathematical behavior."
Here's one version: You and your partner are captured. If you rat on him ("defect'') and he is silent, you get off scot-free and he gets three years—and vice versa. If you both rat on each other, you both get less lengthy sentences, two years; but if you both clam up (cooperate with each other), you get one year each. What to do? It is the dilemma posed by the prisoner's dilemma that is the theme of this latest volume from Poundstone (Labyrinths of Reason, 1988, etc.)—an intriguing exercise in point/counterpoint as Poundstone intertwines the development of game theory with a running biography of one of game theory's founders, John von Neumann. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

Released: Sept. 14, 2005

"Enticing elucidation beneath good humored history."
Is there a secret mathematical equation to beat the stock-market smarties and outsmart the blackjack dealers? There sure is, says this erudite author. You can bet on it. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

NON-FICTION
Released: July 19, 2016

"The book reads like an extended game of Trivial Pursuit, featuring some who play very well and many more who play very poorly."
The story of the dumbing-down of the American brain, as we have all become increasingly dependent on letting our computers think for us. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 12, 2008

"Convincing, entertaining and authoritative overview of voting systems and their pitfalls."
Why the United States's pluralistic voting system doesn't always pick the "right" winner—and, more importantly, what could be done to make it better. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

CARL SAGAN by William Poundstone
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 21, 1999

"A readable and comprehensive life of a fascinating subject."
Carl Sagan was without question the most famous scientist since Einstein. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

NON-FICTION
Released: Jan. 12, 2010

"Readable and revealing."
Bright analysis of the psychology of pricing. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

Released: June 3, 2014

"Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers (2008) and Nassim Nicholas Taleb's The Black Swan (2007) fascinated readers with evidence that reality regularly contradicts common sense. Poundstone delivers modestly useful advice for taking advantage of this, but mostly his book is another delightful addition to the everything-you-thought-you-knew-is-wrong genre."
An ingenious guide to outsmarting others by predicting their choices when they are trying to be unpredictable. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

BOOK REVIEW

THERE’S NOTHING IN THIS BOOK THAT I MEANT TO SAY by Paula Poundstone
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 7, 2006

"A wounded and affecting memoir lurks beneath the surface here; pity if it stays buried."
Uneasy memoir/history lesson from a quirky comedian. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE TOTALLY UNSCIENTIFIC STUDY OF THE SEARCH FOR HUMAN HAPPINESS by Paula Poundstone
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 9, 2017

"A deeply revealing memoir in which the pathos doesn't kill the humor—delivers more than it promises."
In the follow-up to There's Nothing in This Book that I Meant To Say (2007), comedian Poundstone chronicles her amusing and surprisingly personal search for the key to happiness. Read full book review >

BLOG POST

BEST BOOKS OF 2016: WILLIAM GIRALDI
by Joe M. O'Connell

Novelist William Giraldi found writing his memoir The Hero's Body at once arduous and simple.

The book entwines his experiences as a teenage bodybuilder, the story of his ultra-macho working-class family and his father's untimely death in a motorcycle crash when he was in his 40s, the author in his 20s.

"I really started writing it when my ...


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BLOG POST

WILLIAM MCKEEN
by Gregory McNamee

Charles Manson had a sweet, clear voice, reminiscent of Chet Baker’s, that could carry a pop song, a jazz standard, or a show tune. He wrote some good songs, a couple of which became unironic hipster anthems decades later. He charmed his way into an elite circle of Los Angeles musicians, and he swayed a few of them to record ...


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