The Price of Civilization by Jeffrey Sachs

by Jay Kimball on 30 October 2011

Jeffrey Sachs, The Price of Civilization

click image for book info

Jeffrey Sachs has a outstanding new book out called The Price of Civilization. The title of the book refers to remarks made by US Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who spoke of the need for citizens of a country, who enjoyed the benefits of living in that country, to pay the price to support that civilization.

Sachs provides a thoughtful, cogent analysis of challenges facing America, and how to address those challenges. The book has a clean straightforward jargon-free narrative that is balanced and has elements that will appeal to conservatives, independents and progressives alike – though each group will find things to disagree with, there is much that will be embraced.

Sachs looks at the nature of America, through the lens of democracy, fairness, civic virtue, compassion, and happiness, and asks the question “What is our role in the 21st century?”

Sachs is the Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University.

Here’s Sachs being interviewed by Charlie Rose, about The Price of Civilization.

Here’s Sachs in the middle of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, taking questions from reporters. Sachs is articulate, plain speaking and clearly frustrated with the faltering state of the nation and the cozy monied relationship between government and big business.

On a related note, Charles M. Blow had an excellent graphic from the Bertelsmann Stiftung foundation report “Social Justice in the OECD — How Do the Member States Compare?” It helps give some context to issues driving the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations and challenges facing America.

Social Justice in the OECD

click for larger image

Recommended Reading

Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet by Jeffrey Sachs

When Does the Wealth of a Nation Hurt its Wellbeing? by Jay Kimball

What feeds a revolution? by Jay Kimball

  • guest

    Thanks for linking the video!

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