Jeffrey Sachs draws on his remarkable 25 years' experience to offer a thrilling and inspiring vision of the keys to economic success in the world today. Marrying vivid storytelling with acute analysis, he sets the stage by drawing a conceptual map of the world economy and explains why, over the past 200 years, wealth and poverty have diverged and evolved across the planet, and why the poorest nations have been so markedly unable to escape the trap of poverty. Sachs tells the remarkable stories of his own work in Bolivia, Poland, Russia, India, China and Africa to bring readers with him to an understanding of the different problems countries face. In the end, readers will be left not with an understanding of how daunting the world's problems are, but how solvable they are and why making the effort is both our moral duty and in our own interests.
"Sachs came to fame advising "shock therapy" for moribund economies in the 1980s (with arguably positive results); more recently, as director of Columbia University's Earth Institute, he has made news with a plan to end global "extreme poverty"--which, he says, kills 20,000 people a day--within 20 years. While much of the plan has been known to economists and government leaders for a number of years (including Kofi Annan, to whom Sachs is special advisor), this is Sachs's first systematic exposition of it for a general audience, and it is a landmark book.For on-the-ground research in reducing disease, poverty, armed conflict and environmental damage, Sachs has been to more than 100 countries, representing 90% of the world's population. The book combines his practical experience with sharp professional analysis and clear exposition. Over 18 chapters, Sachs builds his case carefully, offering a variety of case studies, detailing small-scale projects that have worked and crunching large amounts of data. His basic argument is that "[W]hen the preconditions of basic infrastructure (roads, power, and ports) and human capital (health and education) are in place, markets are powerful engines of development." In order to tread "the path to peace and prosperity," Sachs believes it is encumbant upon successful market economies to bring the few areas of the world that still need help onto "the ladder of development." Writing in a straightfoward but engaging first person, Sachs keeps his tone even whether discussing failed states or thriving ones. For the many who will buy this book but, perhaps, not make it all the way through, chapters 12 through 14 contain the blueprint for Sachs's solution to poverty, with the final four making a rigorous case for why rich countries (and individuals) should collectively undertake it--and why it is affordable for them to do so. If there is any one work to put extreme poverty back onto the global agenda, this is it." Publishers Weekly
Jeffrey Sachs is the Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University as well as Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan. He is internationally renowned for his work as economic advisor to governments in Latin America, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Asia and Africa.