The author teaches an extremely popular undergraduate ethics course at Harvard called "Justice" [the course is available for free download at iTunes University]. I've watched many of the Justice segments and enjoyed them, so I was very interested when I read a review of What Money Can't Buy in the NYTimes earlier this year.
Even if you lean toward [or embrace] free-market economics, Sandel's book will provide ample food for reflection. His basic argument is that the two decades leading up to the 2008 financial meltdown were an era of "market triumphalism" -- one in which markets and market values crept into spheres of life where they didn't belong. Sandel wants us to think about the role that markets and market values should play in society, and whether there are some things that money should not buy.
I found that I didn't agree with some of Sandel's views, but I nonetheless found them thoughtful and well reasoned. Sandel reads the book himself, and I found his narration perfectly matched the content. Although Sandel's topic is weighty, he manages to be low-key, engaging, and even humorous. He clearly has a point of view, but he's never didactic.
How much did I like the audiobook? I enjoyed it so much, that I later downloaded the Kindle version so I could spent more time thinking about the content. That's my equivalent of "two thumbs up."
Yes - I'd listen to it again. I've enjoyed listening to 3 of Patchett's novels. Hearing her read this essay was a real treat. Her voice and reading style perfectly match her writing.
I liked the way that Patchett wove the question
I agree with the earlier reviewer -- this isn't a light read and you have to focus. But the book offers unique insights on how decisions that were made decades ago, when mortgage-backed securities were first created, ultimately led to the recent financial meltdown. As much as I enjoyed The Big Short, I found this book much more informative and interesting. I also thought the narrator was perfect for the content.
This is one of the most interesting books I've "read" in a long time. As one of the previous reviewers noted, it's a bit ironic to be listening to this particular book rather than reading it in hard copy [and listening while using a treadmill to boot!]. I thought that both the content and the reader were excellent. Highly recommended.
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