How to Make the World Add Up

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What to expect

The Sunday Times bestseller

‘Tim Harford is one of my favourite writers in the world. His storytelling is gripping but never overdone, his intellectual honesty is rare and inspiring, and his ability to make complex things simple – but not simplistic – is exceptional. How to Make the World Add Up is another one of his gems. If you’re looking for an addictive pageturner that will make you smarter, this is your book’ Rutger Bregman, author of Humankind

‘Tim Harford could well be Britain’s Malcolm Gladwell’
Alex Bellos, author of Alex’s Adventures in Numberland

‘If you aren’t in love with stats before reading this book, you will be by the time you’re done. Powerful, persuasive, and in these truth-defying times, indispensable’
Caroline Criado Perez, author of Invisible Women

In How to Make the World Add Up, Tim Harford draws on his experience as both an economist and presenter of the BBC’s radio show ‘More or Less’ to take us deep into the world of disinformation and obfuscation, bad research and misplaced motivation to find those priceless jewels of data and analysis that make communicating with numbers so rewarding. Through vivid storytelling he reveals how we can evaluate the claims that surround us with confidence, curiosity and a healthy level of scepticism. It is a must-read for anyone who cares about understanding the world around them.

‘Tim Harford is our most likeable champion of reason and rigour . . . clear, clever and always highly readable’
The Times, Books of the Year

‘Fascinating and enjoyable’
Bill Bryson

‘Now more than ever we need a book like this’
Stephen Fry

‘Wise, humane and, above all, illuminating. Nobody is better on statistics and numbers – and how to make sense of them’
Matthew Syed

‘One of the most wonderful collections of stories that I have read in a long time . . . fascinating.’
Steven Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics

‘Wise and useful . . . such a delight’
Financial Times

‘What should we do when someone makes a claim that they say is based on data? This wise book, distilled from years of experience, gives us the ten commandments, from first examining our feelings, to finally having the humility to admit we may be wrong. Priceless’
Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter

Critics Review

  • Nobody makes the statistics of everyday life more fascinating and enjoyable than Tim Harford

    Bill Bryson
  • How often do you read a blurb that says ‘this book is so timely’ or ‘now more than ever we need a book like this’? But I promise you, by all that I hold sacred, this has never been truer of any book than it is of HOW TO MAKE THE WORLD ADD UP. We are supremely lucky to have the fabulously readable, lucid, witty and authoritative Tim Harford to remind us why facts, reason, numbers, clarity and truth matter, how beautiful they are and how crucial to our understanding of the natural world and human society. Without the kind of purity and honesty of approach that he stands for the world is doomed. Every politician and journalist should be made to read this book, but everyone else will get so much pleasure and draw so much strength from the joyful way it dispels the clouds of deceit and delusion

    Stephen Fry
  • He’s a genius at telling stories that illuminate our world

    Malcolm Gladwell
  • An immensely enjoyable guide to using statistics wisely. I loved it

    Matt Parker, author of HUMBLE PI
  • If you aren’t in love with stats before reading this book, you will be by the time you’re done. Powerful, persuasive, and in these truth-defying times, indispensable

    Caroline Criado Perez, author of INVISIBLE WOMEN
  • We live in a world that is awash with statistics, but what should we do when someone makes a claim that they say is based on data? This wise book, distilled from years of experience, gives us the ten commandments, from first examining our feelings, to finally having the humility to admit we may be wrong. Priceless

    Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter

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