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The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity Hardcover – Oct 4 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Random House (Oct. 4 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140006841X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400068418
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.3 x 24.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,841,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mike Smith on June 28 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book explains the fiscal, political and overall problems with the state of the union in the simplest possible manner but it still is a bit daunting because of the numbers, charts and graphs.

You will not find these facts and proposals in the general media but these are facts and proposals that we need to know if we are to honestly address the problems of the USA.

The political process must become less adversarial and less controlled by special interest groups with a focus on solutions that meet the long term needs of the country. This includes increased taxes on the rich, reducing military expenditures, eliminating the annual deficits, improved education, an infrastructure program and a scientific approach to global warming.

This is an important book and the action plans should start soon while the national debt is still manageable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Murray Hidlebaugh on April 9 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I felt this book really jsut identified the problems created by capitalism, or the neoliberal agenda, and then proceeded to suggest solutions that have as their foundation capitalism or the neoliberal agenda.

Also I found many of the examples of "success" to be problematic. I worked in bolivia just after Sachs had been there. I studied Poland's economic "miricle" and several other areas. The analysis in the book compared to what I researched just didn't match.

It is interesting to see how "spin " can work though.
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Format: Hardcover
To describe this book, I'll present the final paragraph: "We are, in the end, stewards of the future at a time when our shared future is imperiled by economic divisions, shortsightedness, and a growing ecological crisis. We have great tasks ahead, to redeem once again the American trust in democracy and equality. We have a high responsibility to our children and other generations that will come. Let us begin anew."

This sums up the author's ambitions, and he does an excellent job of describing the problems faced by American-and to one extent or another, all modern (post-)industrialized nations. Adding to the usual woes of a poorly educated, entitled, unmotivated, and excluded population, the author adds two clear messages:

1. North American society is literally disintegrating - people no longer interact with one another in anything like the way they once did, but instead have switched the focus of their relationships to being media-focused. Staying in to watch TV instead of going to the local meeting places (it's hard to imagine what these would even be - sports bars?) has made it impossible to really behave like a society.

2. The selfish and self-interested actions of the wealthy have essentially poisoned and crippled all levels of government. On purpose, for short-term gain.

It's a compelling read.

But then, as often seems to be the case, the author sticks to what he knows in the way of solutions, speaking of fine adjustments to the dials and levers of the economy. At an age where it's looking more and more like the managers of the economy have completely lost the thread of events, I just don't believe that these are the answer.
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