Keith's Reviews > Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet

Common Wealth by Jeffrey D. Sachs
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's review
Feb 16, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: non-fiction, current-events
Read in February, 2009

This is the book that Jeffrey Sachs was meant to write. His previous book, The End of Poverty, has a catchier title and perhaps a more broadly appealing subject, but this book is far and away a better and more important read.

Sachs outlines three major challenges facing our world in the coming decades - environmental change, population growth, and extreme poverty, and gives a sort of state of the world in each of these three categories. For each topic, he discusses where we are now, the consequences of doing nothing, and some promising things that are being done and possibilities for scaling them up to meet these challenges, if we as a global community are willing to commit to doing so.

His previous book, while well-written, was a teeny bit self-congratulatory and rather whiny in parts. Common Wealth loses all of that and strikes a tone that is partly gloomy due to the magnitude of the challenges facing us but also hopeful because of the progress being made. It also does a much better job at discussing ways that individuals can contribute to solving these problems. I think this book is an excellent way to raise awareness about these issues that most Americans at least tend to ignore.

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