Critics’ Reviews

Is That a Fact? is conceived as an updating for the Internet Age of Darrell Huff’s immensely popular 1954 classic, How to Lie With Statistics, with a somewhat broader focus. … The book is studded with extensive discussions of real-life examples that touch on matters of concern to everyone, such as the health risks of second-hand smoke and cell-phone use. It is amply illustrated with figures, charts and cartoons that bring home key points vividly. … Huff’s book has sold more than a million copies. Is That A Fact? deserves a similarly large readership.” — David Hitchcock, McMaster University, in Informal Logic

Is That a Fact? provides an entertaining and enlightening tour of the often confusing world of probability and statistics, always with an eye on their proper role in good reasoning. A delightful discussion that beautifully clarifies what is all too often confusing or just plain confused. The book help will ordinary citizens to better understand and evaluate all sorts of scientific claims as they occur in the popular press and public policy debates. Hats off to Mark Battersby!” — Harvey Siegel, Professor of Philosophy, University of Miami

“One of the intellectual currents of our time has been a revolution in the study of reasoning and argument. Philosophers and other academics have broadened their horizons and turned their attention to the study and analysis of the reasoning, arguments and attempts at persuasion that inundate our lives. Mark Battersby has been an integral part of the movement in this direction. In Is That A Fact? he provides an engaging and thoroughly readable introduction to critical thinking on statistical and scientific claims. It can usefully inform the thinking of everyone who has to contend with such claims in their professional or personal lives.” — Leo Groarke, Professor of Philosophy, Wilfrid Laurier University

“Using timely and important examples, Professor Battersby provides a careful and well-documented discussion of statistics, and does this without sacrificing liveliness or readability. Is That a Fact? is a fascinating book about statistics to give to all your friends.” — Trudy Govier, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Lethbridge

Is That a Fact? should be compulsory reading for every journalist, especially anyone calling themselves a ‘science writer’ or ‘investigative reporter’. This sometimes humorous and well illustrated guide to the world of data, graphs, and statistics is well written and fun to read. Finally we learn the difference between a correlation and an association and how to tell one from the other. Battersby also shows how to spot classic fallacies of reasoning, and how to read scientific articles with a critical eye. Highly recommended.” — Barry Shell, Faculty Research, Office of the Vice-President Research, Simon Fraser University

Posted on November 2, 2015