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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
43
4.5 out of 5 stars


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on 5 April 2010
This was a well argued book with really insightful analysis of the concept of development as freedom. Amartya is arguing that developing nations should not embrace a benevolent dictator but should continue expanding rights & freedoms, even if this leads to occasional paralysis.

To understand it, look at the simple puzzle: should developing countries embrace Western concepts of freedom/human rights which has so far failed to lift many of them out of poverty OR should they embrace the Chinese/Asian model of authoritarianism which has succeeded in massively expanding economic development (GDP/GNP)?

By broadening the scope of freedoms, Amartya attempts to show that the Asian model is not a justifiable alternative. He starts by first questioning the use of income levels as a measure of development. For Amartye, development is much more than that, encompassing the totality of the individual's capacity to live his life as he wants.

For him, if the purpose of economic development is to bring social development, then it is wrong to allow the pursuit of the former to hinder the latter. As such, suppressing freedoms (including democratic rights) can never be excused by the claim of chasing economic development.

I have to agree, though, with those who say it is too long to read - hence my four stars.
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on 24 January 2015
Bought to do some back ground reading for my World Development teaching. A difficult read for A2 students
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on 3 December 2012
Amazon's tax avoidance has been making news headlines recently. It's depressing that multinational companies seek to cheat ordinary people, from Amazon to the mining conglomerates ripping off Africa. “The prevalence of widespread corruption is rightly regarded as a major stumbling block to successful economic progress.” No laws are being broken, nevertheless it leaves me feeling ashamed.

Amazon provide a decent service and I have no complaints except for the above.

The book was very rewarding, meticulous and inspiring. As a temporary Scotsman, I loved Amartya Sen's description of Adam Smith as a champion of social development (far removed from the common description of Smith as the single-minded prophet of self-interest).
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on 6 January 2017
Clear, straightforward with deeper understanding of development in the developing world.
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on 20 April 2001
Quite simply anyone interested in the issues of poverty, and development in the developing world should read this.
It is simply fantastic in its analysis, and unputdownable. It leaves you optimistic that the problems that people face in the developing world CAN be solved, and explodes the arguements of those that say nothing can be done. A must read!
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on 30 October 2015
Book exactly the same as descried. Great seller! Thank you!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 October 2003
Nobel Prize-winning economic scientist Amartya Sen attempts to popularize a series of lectures he presented to executives at the World Bank in 1996. He challenges traditional economic theories to justify a more aggressive, humane and generous funding formula to benefit the world's poorest nations. This goal is based on his theory about individual capabilities and functionings, and how they affect opportunity, both person by person and in a society. Even though this is aimed for general discussion rather than Ph.D. course work, it is an extremely daunting book to read, a mental maze land mined with quirky thoughts and a thick lexicon only an academic could love. More thesis than not, the text is 298 pages plus 60 pages of small type footnotes. The short version: the rich get richer and the poor remain deprived of abilities and awaiting enlightened development. We recommend this dense, challenging but, as they say, important book to insomniacs, liberal world bankers, economic policy makers, the Kofi Annan fan club and students of economic science.
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on 16 March 2015
As advertised. Arrived promptly. Would recommend.
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Nobel Prize-winning economic scientist Amartya Sen attempts to popularize a series of lectures he presented to executives at the World Bank in 1996. He challenges traditional economic theories to justify a more aggressive, humane and generous funding formula to benefit the world's poorest nations. This goal is based on his theory about individual capabilities and functionings, and how they affect opportunity, both person by person and in a society. Even though this is aimed for general discussion rather than Ph.D. course work, it is an extremely daunting book to read, a mental maze land mined with quirky thoughts and a thick lexicon only an academic could love. More thesis than not, the text is 298 pages plus 60 pages of small type footnotes. The short version: the rich get richer and the poor remain deprived of abilities and awaiting enlightened development. We recommend this dense, challenging but, as they say, important book to insomniacs, liberal world bankers, economic policy makers, the Kofi Annan fan club and students of economic science.
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on 16 February 2017
Amartya Senior is an incredible writer.
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