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The End of Poverty Paperback – Feb 28 2006


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The End of Poverty + The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good + Development as Freedom
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 1 edition (Feb. 28 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143036580
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143036586
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 2.3 x 21.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #45,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From Amazon

Celebrated economist Jeffrey Sachs has a plan to eliminate extreme poverty around the world by 2025. If you think that is too ambitious or wildly unrealistic, you need to read this book. His focus is on the one billion poorest individuals around the world who are caught in a poverty trap of disease, physical isolation, environmental stress, political instability, and lack of access to capital, technology, medicine, and education. The goal is to help these people reach the first rung on the "ladder of economic development" so they can rise above mere subsistence level and achieve some control over their economic futures and their lives. To do this, Sachs proposes nine specific steps, which he explains in great detail in The End of Poverty. Though his plan certainly requires the help of rich nations, the financial assistance Sachs calls for is surprisingly modest--more than is now provided, but within the bounds of what has been promised in the past. For the U.S., for instance, it would mean raising foreign aid from just 0.14 percent of GNP to 0.7 percent. Sachs does not view such help as a handout but rather an investment in global economic growth that will add to the security of all nations. In presenting his argument, he offers a comprehensive education on global economics, including why globalization should be embraced rather than fought, why international institutions such as the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, and World Bank need to play a strong role in this effort, and the reasons why extreme poverty exists in the midst of great wealth. He also shatters some persistent myths about poor people and shows how developing nations can do more to help themselves.

Despite some crushing statistics, The End of Poverty is a hopeful book. Based on a tremendous amount of data and his own experiences working as an economic advisor to the UN and several individual nations, Sachs makes a strong moral, economic, and political case for why countries and individuals should battle poverty with the same commitment and focus normally reserved for waging war. This important book not only makes the end of poverty seem realistic, but in the best interest of everyone on the planet, rich and poor alike. --Shawn Carkonen --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Sachs came to fame advising "shock therapy" for moribund economies in the 1980s (with arguably positive results); more recently, as director of Columbia University's Earth Institute, he has made news with a plan to end global "extreme poverty"--which, he says, kills 20,000 people a day--within 20 years. While much of the plan has been known to economists and government leaders for a number of years (including Kofi Annan, to whom Sachs is special advisor), this is Sachs's first systematic exposition of it for a general audience, and it is a landmark book.For on-the-ground research in reducing disease, poverty, armed conflict and environmental damage, Sachs has been to more than 100 countries, representing 90% of the world's population. The book combines his practical experience with sharp professional analysis and clear exposition. Over 18 chapters, Sachs builds his case carefully, offering a variety of case studies, detailing small-scale projects that have worked and crunching large amounts of data. His basic argument is that "[W]hen the preconditions of basic infrastructure (roads, power, and ports) and human capital (health and education) are in place, markets are powerful engines of development." In order to tread "the path to peace and prosperity," Sachs believes it is encumbant upon successful market economies to bring the few areas of the world that still need help onto "the ladder of development." Writing in a straightfoward but engaging first person, Sachs keeps his tone even whether discussing failed states or thriving ones. For the many who will buy this book but, perhaps, not make it all the way through, chapters 12 through 14 contain the blueprint for Sachs's solution to poverty, with the final four making a rigorous case for why rich countries (and individuals) should collectively undertake it--and why it is affordable for them to do so. If there is any one work to put extreme poverty back onto the global agenda, this is it. (Mar. 21)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Tobin Garrett TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 3 2009
Format: Paperback
Having a keen interest in international development and economics, I was excited to finally get a chance to read this book. Jeffrey Sachs is certainly a very intelligent guy, and this book is highly researched with exhaustive statistical back-up for many of the claims that he makes. Centrally, the claim that the poor are stuck in a poverty trap and require more aid in specific areas to get on the 'development ladder' (as Sachs puts it) and begin the climb up to a Western standard of living.

As I read through the book I found myself agreeing, nodding my head at parts, but then a growing frustration began to build as I kept reading, feeling as though he were leaving out some crucial detail. Perhaps it's because Sachs is mainly an economist (the book's subtitle is, after all, 'Economic possibilities for our time'), but I felt that the over reliance on charts, statistics and numbers left a gaping hole in the discussion of the effects of these aid packages on the ground. He talks about Bolivia, China, Russia, and India as developing nations and implementing free market policies and establishing things such as Free Trading Zones (areas where companies are exempt from national laws and taxes), but hardly goes into the effects of these on a population. Sachs main error is that he constantly charts the progress of a nation simply by its economic output, or GDP. But are the people happy? Is the culture flourishing? Are they working hard, producing money yes, but being exploited?

I became more and more frustrated and alienated from Sachs book as I read and the human aspect of the book became further and further out of reach.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kate Jongbloed on May 14 2008
Format: Paperback
I recently read Jeffery Sachs' The End of Poverty. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but was excited to pick up at development best-seller- not a common combination! While I usually try to avoid non-fiction when I'm not at school or working, and tend to have a fiction addiction, I think TEOP will find its way onto my 2007 top ten list.

The book does a great job of summarizing most of my four year international development degree, from discussions of absolute versus relative poverty, to the best way to address the issues of environment, health, education and livelihoods in the developing world. And Sachs does it in a way that makes development concepts accessible: he looks at development as a ladder, and those facing extreme poverty have not been able to get their feet on even the first rung. Thus, the requirements of aid can be seen as inputs to help that group reach the bottom of the ladder and begin to work their way up. He also brings down the issues to a single number: $75billion dollars a year until 2025, at which point he believes that all human kind could be on the development ladder and extreme poverty would be eliminated. Hence, the End of Poverty!

Situated, as he is, in the heart of American development politics and economics, Sachs was also able to do a good job of explaining the successes and deficiencies of his country's aid contributions. Like the discussion in the previous post, this has helped to give me a more detailed view of America's role in the development world, which I find really interesting. He called on a number of American thinkers and activists to give power to his arguments for the potential of the end of extreme poverty.
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Format: Paperback
This book is not very new but is a very necessary work for anyone interested in economic development, particularly
in the economically less developed countries. Sachs has been on the ground, looked, studied and talked to people
he writes about.He is not scared to wade into scary topics such as corruption and dictatorships. In addition he is
academically "respectable" and appears in many places such as the Scientific Anerican while running a kind of think tank at Columbia University.My only complaint is, that he could have used some editing, and thus made the book a
little shorter and easier to digest.
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Format: Paperback
Jeffrey Sachs lays out an easy-to-remember model for understanding the meaning and cause of extreme poverty, and then proceeds in a methodical way to lay out his solutions. It's best read in tandem with Collier's The Bottom Billion, which gives a broader perspective on the root causes. But even on a stand-alone basis, End of Poverty gives one a good grasp of the history of the problem and what approach he thinks ODA from G7 countries needs to take to help solve it.
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Format: Paperback
Absolutely one of the best books I have read, and economics is not my preferred subject. Readable, engaging, realistic and compassionate, Sachs is a social activist with both feet on the ground and his head in reality, not the clouds. i highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in activism, economics, or those who think that people interested in equality and social democracy are dreamers (or hippies).
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By Fun Lee on July 9 2008
Format: Paperback
A very clear and well written argument. Although I disagree with Sachs in some respect, he presents a different, if not workable, method in helping developing countries backed with successful real life examples.
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