The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity

Jeffrey D. Sachs, Author
Jeffrey D. Sachs. Random, $27 (336p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6841-8
Reviewed on: 08/29/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
Hardcover - 324 pages - 978-0-307-35757-1
Compact Disc - 8 pages - 978-0-307-91303-6
Paperback - 322 pages - 978-0-09-953576-8
Open Ebook - 243 pages - 978-0-679-60502-7
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-91306-7
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4070-9255-3
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-307-35758-8
Paperback - 328 pages - 978-0-8129-8046-2
Prebound-Glued - 328 pages - 978-0-606-26833-2
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Best known for advising postcommunist and impoverished countries on development strategies, economist Sachs (Common Wealth) takes on the cesspool of debt, backwardness, and corruption that is the United States in this hard-hitting brief for a humane economy. Sachs surveys an America where the rich get richer and the rest grow poorer, less secure, and less prepared for a modern economy; where a fixation by both parties on cutting taxes and coddling corporate donors—Sachs issues stinging rebukes of Obama's policies—creates insupportable federal deficits and stymies critical reforms and spending programs; and where an electorate stupefied by mass media and advertising ignores its better instincts and pursues a mindless consumerism. The author's straightforward exposition, buttressed by a wealth of revealing tables and charts, sharply rebuts reigning free market orthodoxies and makes a compelling case for an activist state that redistributes wealth and makes life fairer and more productive for everyone. Sachs's remedies are less focused than his critique, and his pinning of all hope on the 15- to 29-year-old "Millennial Generation," aka "the children of the Internet," feels naïve and ageist. Still, his stimulating, staunchly progressive take on America's dysfunctions is a must-read for every concerned citizen. (Oct.)
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