The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity

Jeffrey D. Sachs. Random, $27 (336p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6841-8
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.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
Show other formats
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-307-35758-8
Paperback - 328 pages - 978-0-8129-8046-2
Paperback - 322 pages - 978-0-09-953576-8
Prebound-Glued - 328 pages - 978-0-606-26833-2
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4070-9255-3
Compact Disc - 8 pages - 978-0-307-91303-6
Hardcover - 324 pages - 978-0-307-35757-1
Open Ebook - 243 pages - 978-0-679-60502-7
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-91306-7
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.