The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty

Peter Singer, Author . Random $22 (206p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6710-7

Part plea, part manifesto, part handbook, this short and surprisingly compelling book sets out to answer two difficult questions: why people in affluent countries should donate money to fight global poverty and how much each should give. Singer (Animal Liberation ) dismantles the justifications people make for not giving and highlights the successes of such efforts as microfinance in Bangladesh, GiveWell’s charitable giving and the 50% League, where members donate more than half their wealth. Singer alternately cajoles and scolds: he pillories Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen, who has given less than his former partner, Bill Gates, and lives far more extravagantly: “His toys include a large collection of vintage military aircraft and a 413-foot oceangoing yacht called Octopus that cost him over $200 million and has a permanent crew of sixty.” Singer contrasts Allen’s immoderation with the work of Paul Farmer (a cofounder of the international social justice organization Partners in Health) and the cost of basic health services in Haiti ($3,500 per life saved), or malaria nets ($623–$2,367 per life saved). Singer doesn’t ask readers to choose between asceticism and self-indulgence; his solution can be found in the middle, and it is reasonable and rewarding for all. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 12/15/2008
Release date: 03/01/2009
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FORMATS
Open Ebook - 978-1-58836-779-2
Open Ebook - 241 pages - 978-1-921799-58-7
Ebook - 978-0-330-50470-6
Hardcover - 214 pages - 978-0-330-45458-2
Paperback - 207 pages - 978-0-330-45459-9
Paperback - 214 pages - 978-0-8129-8156-8
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-21339-5
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