Thursday, May 10, 2012

Popular Crime

Bill James is a very good writer. He is best known as the father of Sabermetrics but in my opinion he's a better writer than statistician. That's saying something. And I haven't even mentioned how what a great sense of humor Bill James has.

His most recent book Popular Crime: Reflections on the Celebration of Violence was a very good read. James combines his excellent writing skills, history that most of us probably never knew or had forgotten and a sense of logic and common sense to give explanations of what probably actually happened in these sensational crimes.

I grew up knowing the Lizzie Borden rhyme about giving her mother 40 whacks. Now I know the whole story thanks to James. I do admit that I did get a bit bogged down with James' idea of giving points to decide guilt but that is a small quibble. If you like history, crime or just good writing then you'll like Popular Crime.