book hack

How to Lie with Statistics

Darrell Huff

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

How to Lie with Statistics is an exposé of the process through which statistics are manipulated and presented to mislead us – from the pen of a former tobacco lobbyist.

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How to Lie with Statistics

How to Lie with Statistics

by Darrell Huff

Overview

A good statistician or ad-man with loose morals can take just about any chunk of data and weave a deceitful web of half-truths to argue their point. This is not reserved to the odd bad apple but is etched in a dishonest system of numerical propaganda and advertising that is hardly based on any fact or science.

Universities, politicians, business leaders, news outlets, and police districts are all guilty of misleading the public by fudging the numbers. This book's author - Darrell Huff - was paid by tobacco lobbyists to testify before U.S. Congress, statistically downplaying any link between disease and tobacco. He was a prolific writer ranging in topics from home improvement to self-help and statistics.

How to Lie with Statistics is a cautionary tale that unravels the lies sold to us as statistical facts, and how you can spot dishonesty in numbers.

Favorite quote

Knowing nothing about a subject is frequently healthier than knowing what is not so, and a little learning may be a dangerous thing.

- Darrell Huff

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