Top critical review
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disappointing, lacked innovation
on 20 July 2011
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.