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The End of Poverty [Paperback]

Jeffrey D. Sachs , Bono
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 28 2006
Jeffrey D. Sachs has been cited by The New York Times Magazine as “probably the most important economist in the world” and by Time as “the world’s best-known economist.” He has advised an extraordinary range of world leaders and international institutions on the full range of issues related to creating economic success and reducing the world’s poverty and misery. Now, at last, he draws on his entire twenty-five-year body of experience to offer a thrilling and inspiring big-picture vision of the keys to economic success in the world today and the steps that are necessary to achieve prosperity for all.

Marrying vivid eyewitness storytelling to his laserlike analysis, Jeffrey Sachs sets the stage by drawing a vivid conceptual map of the world economy and the different categories into which countries fall. Then, in a tour de force of elegance and compression, he explains why, over the past two hundred years, wealth has diverged across the planet in the manner that it has and why the poorest nations have been so markedly unable to escape the cruel vortex of poverty. The groundwork laid, he explains his methods for arriving, like a clinical internist, at a holistic diagnosis of a country’s situation and the options it faces. Rather than deliver a worldview to readers from on high, Sachs leads them along the learning path he himself followed, telling the remarkable stories of his own work in Bolivia, Poland, Russia, India, China, and Africa as a way to bring readers to a broad-based understanding of the array of issues countries can face and the way the issues interrelate. He concludes by drawing on everything he has learned to offer an integrated set of solutions to the interwoven economic, political, environmental, and social problems that most frequently hold societies back. In the end, he leaves readers with an understanding, not of how daunting the world’s problems are, but how solvable they are—and why making the effort is a matter both of moral obligation and strategic self-interest. A work of profound moral and intellectual vision that grows out of unprecedented real-world experience, The End of Poverty is a road map to a safer, more prosperous future for the world.

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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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit too clinical July 3 2009
By J. Tobin Garrett TOP 500 REVIEWER
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
3.0 out of 5 stars The End of Poverty? 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
Its a social science book, for those it to clinical. Your reading a book written in a line with its research field. In my opion Sack's history has seen him shift beliefs and statements like the wind blows. Yet, I found this book to be well written and structured work. I think this book has many arguments in play and that grants the reader an opportunity to ether agree or develop a constructive critic. In any chase it gets you thinking. For myself I found the sections dedication to objectionable the western world views textile manufacturing that were moved to other nations; whilst the same people forget that not long ago in resent human history the same practice was conducted back home. And against the narrative some people hold that this textile manufacturing was purely exploitive. Sacks shows that these practices have historically different and sometimes long term social benefits.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiration for Motivation June 20 2006
Format:Paperback
Economics is not exactly what I would consider a sexy subject to read about but I was hooked from the first sentence. Sachs delivers insightful information and concrete answers to some of the most important questions regarding the extreme poverty of countries such as Africa. It goes beyond the predjudices that prevail today and will open your eyes to see the truth. He doesn't just talk about what needs to be done, he shows us how to do it. If you truly want to understand why extreme poverty still exists in our 21st century of economic advancements, then this is the book for you. It will educate you and hopefully inspire you as it inspired me to realize that poverty truly can be erradicated by the year 2025.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good price, good quality
Needed it for a class. Good insight concerning development issues, good quality and was delivered to my house the next day through regular shipping!
Published on Feb. 16 2012 by Lu
4.0 out of 5 stars Not That New, but Very Important
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. Read more
Published on Jan. 25 2010 by John Lehnert
5.0 out of 5 stars End of Poverty
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... Read more
Published on July 9 2008 by Fun Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars An accessible introduction to solving extreme poverty.
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. Read more
Published on April 16 2008 by Chris Kutarna
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read for everyone who has any interest in the world
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... Read more
Published on April 22 2007 by Dark Seraphim
3.0 out of 5 stars No new insights
Prof. Sachs has some fix set of ideas and wants to apply them globally. And this book shows it. My feeling is that it has little new insight. Read more
Published on June 9 2006 by china-life 20 years
5.0 out of 5 stars End of Poverty by Sachs
If you want to make a change for the better and broader purpose and yet you dont know how to do, or if you are completely ignorant about your ability of helping others, dont waste... Read more
Published on Dec 27 2005
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