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Publisher's Summary

One of the world’s most brilliant economists and the bestselling author of The End of Poverty and Common Wealth, Jeffrey Sachs has written a new book that is essential reading for every American. The Price of Civilization is the blueprint for America’s economic recovery. It is also the story of how America can and must restore the virtues of fairness, honesty, and foresight as the foundations of national prosperity.

As he has done in dozens of countries around the world in the midst of economic crisis, Sachs turns his unique diagnostic skills to what ails the American economy. He finds that both political parties have missed the big picture: how globalization has reshaped economic life in America and around the world, thereby posing profound and largely unmet challenges for jobs, incomes, poverty, and the environment. America’s biggest single economic failure, Sachs argues, is its failure to come to grips with the new global economic realities.

Yet Sachs goes deeper than an economic diagnosis, by asking why it is that Washington has consistently failed to address America’s economic needs. He describes a political system that has lost its ethical moorings, in which ever-rising campaign contributions and lobbying outlays overpower the voice of the citizenry. Washington, Sachs argues persuasively, has stopped representing the people and instead has turned the levers of power over to the corporate sector. Both parties are implicated, so that Washington lurches from one disappointing administration to the next, irrespective of party.

©2011 Jeffrey D. Sachs (P)2011 Random House Audio

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policy making, government structure, long term

let's think long term planning. a lot of good quotes from JFK . our business leaders have a tremendous civic responsibility. is small gov the best??

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  • Thomas
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 03-23-15

Dr, Sachs has become depression

Any additional comments?

Dr. Sachs wrote Common Wealth, and I liked it, but The Price of Civilization, about the USA is really, really depressing. He's right, the facts are true, his conclusions are true, but it was so depressing. There don't seem to be any solutions. I just read the first half, and gave up.

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  • Andy
  • Westport, CT, United States
  • 10-23-11

heavy on the finger wagging

Jeff Sachs spends most of this book admonishing just about every institution in our society, except the unions. In the last hour or so, he lays out broad, big picture solutions for the various ills that the US is facing. To me, the strongest message in the book is "others have solved these problems, and so can we." Narration was super clear and as forceful as the text.

5 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • William
  • Chico, CA, United States
  • 11-12-12

Interesting points among mind numbing repetition.

Would you try another book from Jeffrey D. Sachs and/or Richard McGonagle?

Perhaps. I have read good reviews of his earlier books.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I felt that many of the time periods that he quoted statistics from were carefully chosen to prove his point while other time periods may not have supported his position. The important contribution that this book makes is force the reader to think about important issues and their possible resolution.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Carl
  • Big Bear Lake, CA
  • 10-22-11

Can't believe he graduated from Harvard

I cannot believe that a PhD in macroeconomics from Harvard would do such a horrible job of misrepresenting facts with skewed statistics and blathering opinions. He compares one city in China to an entire country; completely irrelevant. I kept listening hoping that somewhere in this book would be a kernel of truth. Not only does he misuse statistics but he advocates the overthrow of the American government in favor of the European parliamentary systems. He constantly holds up Scandinavia as the model. He would not be satisfied until we are all taxed at 99% and the government, benevolent as it is, would redistribute the monies. Sachs!!! Socialism died; Capitalism won; move on. What an idiot.

5 of 52 people found this review helpful