A painless introduction to the maths of the real world by the team who created and present the hugely popular BBC Radio 4 series More or Less.
Mathematics scares and depresses most of us, but politicians, journalists and everyone in power use numbers all the time to bamboozle us. Most maths is really simple - as easy as 2+2 in fact. Better still it can be understood without any jargon, any formulas - and in fact not even many numbers. Most of it is commonsense, and by using a few really simple principles one can quickly see when maths, statistics and numbers are being abused to play tricks - or create policies - which can waste millions of pounds. It is liberating to understand when numbers are telling the truth or being used to lie, whether it is health scares, the costs of government policies, the supposed risks of certain activities or the real burden of taxes.
Michael Blastland was born in Glasgow. A journalist all his professional life, he started on weekly newspapers before moving to the BBC where he makes current affairs programmes for Radio 4, such as Analysis, More or Less and the historical series Why Did We Do That? He lives in Hertfordshire, often with his daughter Cait, less often and less quietly with his son Joe, when he's at home.
'A very funny book...this is one of those maths books that claims to be self-help, and on the evidence presented here, we are in dire need of it...', Daily Telegraph
'This very elegant book constantly sparks"Aha!"moments as it interrogates the way numbers are handled and mishandled by politicians and the media.', Guardian
'If every politician and journalist were required to read this engaging and eye opening book before embarking on their career, we would live in a wiser, better, governed world.', Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive, Royal Society of Arts