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The End of Poverty: How We Can Make it Happen in Our Lifetime Paperback – 7 Apr 2005

29 customer reviews

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The End of Poverty: How We Can Make it Happen in Our Lifetime + The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It + The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill And So Little Good
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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (7 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141018666
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141018669
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Jeffrey Sachs is the Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University as well as Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan. He is internationally renowned for his work as economic advisor to governments in Latin America, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Asia and Africa.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By alixshett on 20 July 2011
Format: Hardcover
As Sachs has spent many years working for the World Bank and the forward of his latest book was by Bono, I was very skeptical of this book. However, I found the first half of this book interesting. It described the history of global economics, why countries have developed at different rates and there were case studies of economic reforms in India, China, Poland and Hungary. Although the case studies were economically interesting and very readable, I felt the name dropping and Sachs ego got a little tiring after a while.

The concept I liked most in this book was how Sachs used a `clinical diagnosis' of economic difficulties that countries faced which took into account geography, politics and health. This also highlighted the importance of individual countries developing their own policies for development, and not having a one size fits all policy forced upon them from the World Bank or IMF. I think this is a conclusion that most people who work within the World Bank soon realise, but often too late.

I was less impressed with the second half of the book which aimed to describe how to end poverty. The answer was to increase funding from developing countries, written in detail for too many pages. Although this may be beneficial, I expected more innovation and creativity by a World Renowned Economic Professor. After finishing the book, I felt he had wasted his time writing the second half. This perhaps demonstrates that there are no quick fixes to problems as complex as poverty but surely one of the most influential people in the world could have come up with a better idea than simply giving more money? I won't be recommending this book to anyone.
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63 of 71 people found the following review helpful By @iGlinavos VINE VOICE on 17 May 2005
Format: Paperback
Jeffrey Sach's book should be listed in the biographies and not in the economics section. Filled with generalisations and shortcuts and forwarded by an awestruck Bono, it fails to impress. Once one reaches the end of the book where the recipe to end poverty follows Dr. Sachs world travels, he/she will find the Gap Financing approach to development. The main idea is to indentify the national savings rate, the projected needed investment rate and fill the gap by aid. This pretty much has been the ineffectual method used since the end of WWII to address issues of underdevelopment. A quick survey of the literature (especially Easterly, 2001) can show its limitations. At least Dr. Sachs largely avoids presenting us too rudely with the usual neoliberal orthodoxy paraded by the World Bank and the IMF around the globe. Worth reading but probably not worth applying.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Ahmed on 16 May 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book on a recommendation and wasn't really sure whether I wanted to read a book written by an economist. Well, this book is a true 'eye opener.' Jeffrey Sach's account is well written, enjoyable and doesn't hold back any punches. His main conclusion is that poverty can be alleviated globally but 'Richer' economies' lack the will to make any serious inroads to tackle the problem.

It also highlights the bad decisions and policies followed by the 'western leaders' and his hypothesis that even 'current backlash against the west' could have been dealt with far more effectively, if a concerted effort had been made to eradicate poverty.

A compelling, powerful and moving account, together with a blueprint for the future.

Future leaders, such as Imran Khan (Pakistan), would be well placed to read this book as Jeffrey Sachs needs to be on any team serious about changing the plight of it's people.
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By Alexander Sokol on 5 July 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The themes of Sachs' book are: Arguments for how development aid have helped to end poverty in the past, how development aid could help ending poverty in the future, and why Western industrialized countries can and should continue and increase development aid to end extreme poverty.

The book is well-written and contains much historical information of independent interest (aid efforts in Bolivia, Poland and Russia, for example, from Sachs' personal experience) and many useful statistics and overviews of issues related to poverty, such as cost-benefit prioritized lists for where aid money should go, as well as statistics for aid budgets of the industrialized nations and the like.

Sachs' main plan for ending world poverty is through increased development aid. He is thoroughly optimistic, perhaps overly so, compared to the more stoic viewpoints of some of his critics, for example William Easterly. Sachs does not touch very much on the topic of what types of aid works best, and how aid should be prioritized, and this is a weakness of the book.

I would recommend the book as a well-written survey of how aid can work well, and of ideas as to how to spend future development aid. However, my personal impression is also that much development aid is squandered on useless projects and siphoned away by bad governance or inefficient methodologies. As a counterpoint to Sachs' optimistic viewpoints, I would also recommend William Easterly or Dambisa Moyos books.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Charlotte on 10 Aug. 2005
Format: Paperback
Broadly speaking, this is an excellent book, packed full with new insights, clear solutions and interesting case studies drawing on a wealth of experience Jeffrey Sachs has in the development economics field. The maps and graphs interspersed in the text were also a welcome addition - too few books use them to full effect.
My only complaints are that (a) at times it read like a bit like biography and (b) it is too short! Often my interest was sparked on a complex issue, only to have it dealt with in a very broad brush way.
In general, though, it is a definite must-read.
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