The Growth Illusion and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Start reading The Growth Illusion on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Growth Illusion: How Economic Growth Has Enriched the Few, Impoverished the Many and Endangered the Planet [Paperback]

Richard Douthwaite
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 6.86  
Hardcover --  
Paperback --  
Paperback, 1 Jan 1990 --  
Unknown Binding -- Trade-In Store
Did you know you can use your mobile to trade in your unwanted books for an Gift Card to spend on the things you want? Visit the Books Trade-In Store for more details or check out the Trade-In Amazon Mobile App Guidelines on how to trade in using a smartphone. Learn more.

Book Description

1 Jan 1990
Since The Growth Illusion was published in 1992, many economists have come to admit that there is no necessary correlation between economic growth and human welfare. At the political level, however, there has been no equivalent shift, and despite the mounting evidence of the environmental and social damage that the pursuit of growth is doing, the achievement of a high growth rate remains the paramount national goal.

Roughly a third of the material in this second edition is new, or has been completely revised to bring it up to date. Douthwaite shows how: € Well-informed politicians are no longer promising that economic growth will bring ordinary people significant benefits. Growth is now seen as a regrettable necessity-something which is needed to avoid an economic collapse. € Continued economic growth is causing the British and US economies to run backwards and destroy more resources than they are creating on a sustainable basis. € Growth is not required for the majority of people to live well even in very poor countries. € Since 1990, the national income of Ireland has grown by 50%. Unfortunately, the Irish suicide rate increased by 64% in the same period. The Growth Illusion refutes Adam Smith's belief that an 'invisible hand' ensures that self-interest serves the common good. Accordingly, it suggests that the nations of the world should extricate themselves from a global system which must grow continually if it is not to collapse, and build themselves stable, sustainable economies instead.

Product details

  • Paperback: 382 pages
  • Publisher: Green Books; 2nd Revised edition edition (1 Jan 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1870098765
  • ISBN-13: 978-1870098762
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,021,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description


"A controversial book whose findings will be debated by economists worldwide. Highly recommended." -- - Library Journal

"A great many people are now questioning growth's benefits, yet remain burdened with a lingering fear that ending the quest for growth may end human progress, confine the poor to eternal deprivation, and impose great sacrifice. The Growth Illusion puts such fears to rest with clarity, authority, and compassion. Its message is as profoundly hopeful as it is timely and important." -- -from the Foreword by David Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World

"Here's an economist who can entertain, blowing the whistle on idiocies like the GNP (which makes a country stripping itself bare the best off in the world)... After reading Douthwaite's vivid and convincing case studies it becomes impossible to hear a politician promising recovery (and hence a new bout of consuming) without feeling mingled pity and contempt" -- - Rowland Morgan, The Independent on Sunday

"Richard Douthwaite is an economist with a sharp pen and a gift for nosing out statistics that show we have not progressed as we thought." -- Walter Schwarz, The Guardian

A terrific book, splendidly written and meticulously researched. I have no hesitation in calling Richard Douthwaite one of the best environmental journalists in the world." -- - James Downey, The Universe

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3 star
2 star
1 star
4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
'How economic growth has enriched the few, impoverished the many and endangered the planet.'
This is an excellent book, clearly written so that those of us not familiar with the world of economics can follow the author's arguments with ease. Richard Douthwaite shows us the proof that undirected, economic growth leads to unemployment, breakdown of family life, soaring crime rates and environmental destruction. It stands to reason that infinite growth cannot occur in a finite world, but that fact is exactly what most governments seem to ignore. Accordingly, they set their economic policies in motion as if there were no tomorrow. The introduction starts with a quote from Kenneth Boulding which states 'Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist' sets the tone for the rest of the book. The mind boggles at the shortsightedness of those who direct the world's economy. This book is a fascinating look at the nature of capitalism and whether or not continued economic growth is realistically or even morally feasible. It'll make you think. A must read.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author has a prescient insight into many flaws in macro economic expectations. It really is a 'must read' for anyone who is in a position to take an impartial view on the state of our world's economic shambles, as well as 'joe public' who is picking up the tabs for politically motivated and often misdirected economic planning.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Politicians, please note! 9 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent book! It should be compulsory reading for all politicians, both local and national, as well as budding economics students.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars Widens viewpoint. 17 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Give an interesting alternative aspect.
The treatment by English commerce to our colonies shows why they think what they do of us.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good, if a bit dated now. Needs a rewrite for the current decade. Excellent view of recent Irish economic history.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category