The Idealist

The Idealist

Jeffrey Sachs And The Quest To End Poverty

Book - 2013
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A powerful portrayal of Jeffrey Sachs's ambitious quest to end global poverty. As special adviser to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and author of The End of Poverty, Sachs argues that extreme poverty is a solvable problem, drawing on success stories from his daring five-year Millennium Villages Project experiment in Africa in 2006 to demonstrate how specific initiatives can enable profound positive changes.
Publisher: Toronto : Signal, 2013.
ISBN: 9780771062506
0771062508
Characteristics: viii, 260 pages : color illustrations ; 25 cm

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dirtbag
Mar 27, 2017

Another Academic who failed to do his research and believed in his own hype to an inordinate degree. This is a readable and engaging book by a journalist who is fair and balanced in reporting. I would recommend it.

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StarGladiator
Sep 25, 2014

This is a bizarre book. Why? Some time ago, the Saturday morning business program on CNN finally reported [some years after the fact] that the most recent Census Bureau data indicated that one out of every two Americans qualifies as poor. Got that? One out of every two. So this guy, who bungled it in Russia, is going around believing an American can solve these predatory capitalist problems? Sachs needs to read Michael Perelman's book. The Invention of Capitalism.

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bfowler
Mar 17, 2014

Jeffrey Sachs is a brilliant economist, a graduate of Harvard and a professor at Columbia University, who believed he could solve the problem of poverty in Africa. He had good reason to be confident in his abilities, as he had been called in to save the Bolivian economy from collapse in 1985 and to bring Poland out of the dark years when the Eastern Europe was emerging from Communist rule in 1989. He succeeded dramatically in these efforts and made a reputation for his abilities. But then he overreached himself and fell victim to massive hubris. This is the tale, as told by a journalist who was given full access to interview Sachs and visit his key villages, of how Sachs' project failed despite absorbing hundreds of millions of dollars. Underlying the immediate reasons for this failure the question reamains: How can Western countries succeed in overcoming cultural and natural obstacles to enable foreign societies to emerge from chronic poverty? Certainly not by applying theoretical concepts to complex societies on a massive scale. Is any of this remininscent of Western strategy in Afghanistan?

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Liber_vermis
Nov 07, 2013

This chronicle of the celebrated American macroeconomist Jeffery Sachs and his Millennium Villages Project shows that the many causes of Third World underdevelopment are multifaceted, complex and interconnected. Many situations sound like Dickensian England. How did it evolve to a modern post -industrial economy? That path is probably what Jeffery Sachs should have been championing rather than his "big push" flooding of impoverished rural villages with development aid and "magic bullets" (p. 40)? The book provides end notes but no index.

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Liber_vermis
Nov 07, 2013

"One day later, as promised, Sachs was in Kampala meeting with Yoweri Museveni, the longtime president of Uganda. ... In 2000, [Museveni] had ordered an executive jet for himself, a $30 million Gulfstream IV. ... "Yes, I see," [Museveni] said, ... "But there are other things to consider, Professor [Sachs]. You know, in these countries of Africa, we have many other problems [to rural poverty and poor farm productivity]. This is not India or China. There are no markets. There is no [phone?] network. No rails. No roads. We have no political cohesion." [p. 61, 63, 66]

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