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Tilting at Windmills

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February 22, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

BIG BOOKS....This will come as a surprise to absolutely nobody who reads this blog, but I love books like this. Too bad about that $825 price tag, though.

Kevin Drum 5:02 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (39)

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It is online at

http://www2.census.gov/prod2/statcomp/documents/CT1970p1-01.pdf

Posted by: spencer on February 22, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Why didn't they put it on DVD, with searchable text, so that you could actually use it?

Posted by: Alan Vanneman on February 22, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Alan makes exactly my point.

I've gotten to a point where on the few occasions i use an actual reference book to get information, a part of my brain starts looking for the "ctrl f" function on the thing. I know it's not there, but there is a part of my brain that keeps insisting it is.

Although, usefulness aside, books like these are definitely fun. I've got an encyclopedia of food, and it's just great to open to a random page and read about asparagus for 40 minutes.

Posted by: theorajones on February 22, 2006 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Professors Sutch and Carter, who are married and both teach at the University of California at Riverside, are editors in chief of Historical Statistics of the United States,

Wow, they live in Riverside and they edit Historical Statistics of the US? Are they available for parties?

Posted by: craigie on February 22, 2006 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

it's just great to open to a random page and read about asparagus for 40 minutes.

You can come too!

Posted by: craigie on February 22, 2006 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Information wants to be free.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on February 22, 2006 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

Not taking into account inflation or interest rates, if fit and trim Kevin has about 50 more years of outhouse trips to look forward to, then the $825 price of this tome works out to about 4 cents a "reading session." Well worth it, Kev.

Posted by: ferd on February 22, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

So what can one read about asparagus, for 40 minutes? It is green, it is somewhat healthy, it is funny looking... then what?

Posted by: elfranko on February 22, 2006 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

elfranko -

you forgot about the pee

Posted by: Ugh on February 22, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, let's buy Kevin these books, commentors. We'll start a funding campaign. I'm go for $5.

Set up a pay pal account, Kevin. Put up a funding thermometer.

Al, Tbroz, this would be an olive branch opportunity.

I, the fake fake Al, pledge $5 to the Buy Kevin Drum a Large Book About Numbers (BKDLBAN) campaigne.

I gonna need a receipt, though.

Posted by: the fake Fake Al on February 22, 2006 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

Looks like a great book. I am lobbying my library.

However, I sympathize greatly with Alan. In fact, it seems like we have reached a point where someone (or some people) could create a sigle, large database that is relatively easy to search. It is drag trying to track down regional and national data from various sources. The Census, BLS, commerce and Fed are great resources, but why not consolidate?

Posted by: birdie on February 22, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

This statistic was incredible, from the NYT blurb:

>Fewer than 1 in 10 black children under 5
>live with both parents

Could it possibly be true? That 90% of black children under 5 are not in a 2-parent living situation? Has anyone heard such a number before?

Posted by: Uncle Monty on February 22, 2006 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

Words I can support being in a proper book (though I could do with the search facility). But when it comes to numbers there's really no excuse for not putting it on a disk so they can be cut and pasted into spreadsheets for graphy goodness.

Posted by: derek on February 22, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

$825?! Do what I do with my Oscar gowns! Buy it, read it, then return it with the price tag still on!

Posted by: shortstop on February 22, 2006 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

mmmmmmmmmm, statistics

Posted by: Martin on February 22, 2006 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

I'll wait for the QPBC edition.

Posted by: cld on February 22, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

$825?! Do what I do with my Oscar gowns! Buy it, read it, then return it with the price tag still on!

Kevin will look pretty silly reading this book in your Oscar gown.

Posted by: craigie on February 22, 2006 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

It takes a lot less time to read an Oscar gown than it does to read a five volume set, even one from one of the hyphenated designers.

Posted by: S Ra on February 22, 2006 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

Well, you have to have something to do during those boring tech awards :)

Posted by: shortstop on February 22, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

Well, you have to have something to do during those boring tech awards :)

I'm hit! I'm going down!! Arggghhh!!...

Posted by: craigie on February 22, 2006 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

Bwa!

Posted by: shortstop on February 22, 2006 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

We oughta be flooding money in to fix that dome.

Organize an army of Sunni volunteers to work alongside Shiia to get the mosque fixed up.

Posted by: ferd on February 22, 2006 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

We oughta be flooding money in to fix that dome.

Organize an army of Sunni volunteers to work alongside Shiia to get the mosque fixed up.

We could get a bunch of christian missionaries to help. If they forget their hammers they can pound in nails with the soles of their shoes.

Posted by: toast on February 22, 2006 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK
Could it possibly be true? That 90% of black children under 5 are not in a 2-parent living situation?

Its certainly possible that 90% of black children aren't living with both parents. That doesn't mean more than 10% aren't in something of a "two-parent" situation -- with their mother and a man other than their father (or, probably far less commonly, vice versa), with two grandparents, etc.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 22, 2006 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

Hah! That book is puny. Try this one on for size:

http://tinyurl.com/e8b2t

Posted by: Pocket Rocket on February 22, 2006 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

So just go to the URL spencer gave, print the whole thing out, and save yourself $825. It'll still cost you something for the ink, paper, and notebooks or some such to put the pages into, but it's got to be a lot less than $825.

Posted by: Frederick on February 22, 2006 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

about asbestos cancer and prostate cancer,asbestos Cancer also called malignant prostate Cancer
mesothelioma is a disease in which
asbestos cancer (malignant) cells are found in the sac lining the chest (the pleura) or abdomen (the peritoneum). It is a rare form of cancer. Most people with malignant
mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they breathed asbestos.

Posted by: vere on February 23, 2006 at 2:06 AM | PERMALINK

This reminds me of my all-time favorite reference book, "The California Water Atlas." You might be able to find a copy today for $200, if you're lucky. It was published circa 1977 by the State of California - lavishly illustrated, THE reference on one of the most amazingly complex subjects there is.

Posted by: hb714 on February 23, 2006 at 3:03 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin (or anyone, really), what are some of your favorite books on statistics and/or data analysis? I'm looking for something for the educated layperson...

Posted by: RobJ on February 23, 2006 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

Although, usefulness aside, books like these are definitely fun. I've got an encyclopedia of food, and it's just great to open to a random page and read about asparagus for 40 minutes.
Posted by: theorajones


Oh, yeah? Name names here, sugar. I'm already lugging around a culinary library of 350 or so titles. What's one more?

Have you got Waverly Root on the Foods of Italy? Elizabeth David? Raymond Sokolov's "Why We Eat What We Eat", Rhea Tannahill's "A History of Food"?

Gasp. Pausing to draw breath...

Sorry. I get carried away.

Posted by: CFShep on February 23, 2006 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

Late last century - ummm, I mean late in the 1800's single book encyclopedias were fairly common. I think they were used to broadly cover a large amount of topics for the people in remote areas.

I love finding such books at antique stores or flea markets. Discovering what the people of the day were told about such diverse topics such as general science, vetinary medicine and exotic locations is an eye opener.

Posted by: Tripp on February 23, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

I love finding such books at antique stores or flea markets. Discovering what the people of the day were told about such diverse topics such as general science, vetinary medicine and exotic locations is an eye opener.
Posted by: Tripp

Oh, sweetie. Do I have a cookbook you'd love.

The Physical Culture Cookbook. Published in 1933. Possibly the first 'whole foods' 'health food' cookbook around. Much of it would give the Food Nazis conniption fits but it's a hoot nevertheless.

Posted by: CFShep on February 23, 2006 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

CFShep,

I bet I would like it. Most of the late 1800's cooking seemed to be very high on the fat and booze. There was just starting to be some ideas about 'nutrition,' but it seemed to center around the idea that like-helps-like. They had three main categories - nervous tissues good for the nerves, muscles for muscles, and fat for energy.

This was before Graham invented his health cracker.

They also had the interesting notion of passive and active exercise. Passive exercise was mostly sitting while outdoors, although I think they included horse riding in that category, and anyone who has ridden a horse knows there is a fair amount of active effort involved.

Posted by: Tripp on February 23, 2006 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

A new amazing thing had just come on the scene in the 30's: vitamins

This book contains some howlers but it's a pioneering work in many ways.

ah! Another foodie! (in the best sense of the word)

clapping hands together and grinning like a lunatic

Posted by: CFShep on February 23, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Spencer, your link goes to the older edition of this encyclopedia. But Cambridge University Press is selling online access to libraries -- probably for more than $825 a year.

Posted by: librarian on February 23, 2006 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

I actually just looked into this for my company. The online version is clearly targeted at libraries or colleges and ranges in price from $1,500 to $4,800+, depending on the size of the library or school. See the Cambridge University Press website.

Posted by: Marc on February 23, 2006 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

Professors Sutch and Carter, who are married and both teach at the University of California at Riverside,

Go Highlanders! One more milepost for UC Riverside on the road to respectability.

Posted by: Edo on February 24, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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