Damned Lies and Statistics: Untangling Numbers from the Media, Politicians, and Activists, by Joel Best
This is one of those books everyone should read—but would anyone ever get elected again? Author Joel Best shows you exactly how stats can be manipulated to prove anything.
If every statistic released were to be believed, then the whole country would be sick, pregnant, violent, dead, or addicted to porn. Using examples from the New York Times, the Washington Post, U.S. Census, and other major media outlets, Best unravels the many fascinating examples of the misuse and abuse of statistical information.
There are no innocents.
My stats professor used to quote Mark Twain to every class: “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.” It's possible to twist statistics to say virtually anything; for every study out there that makes one claim, there's another that "proves" the exact opposite. How can you know which one is true? Best lets you know how to spot the BS and wade through fraud studies and stats.
Pre-election is a great time to equip yourself with these tools. You'll never read or watch the news the same way again.