The Age of Sustainable Development

Columbia Univ. Mar. 2015. 544p. illus. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780231173148. $120; pap. ISBN 9780231173155. $34.95; ebk. ISBN 9780231539005. ECON
This book is a comprehensive introduction to the field of sustainable development by one of its leading scholars, advocates, and practitioners, Sachs (Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, also health policy and management, Columbia Univ.; director, United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network; The End of Poverty). Sustainable development refers to balancing economic development, environmental sustainability, and social inclusion—all topics on which Sachs has written extensively. The work begins with an overview and history of development, includes chapters on several specific facets of sustainable development—including biodiversity and climate change—and concludes by advancing ten related goals. These move beyond the UN's Millennium Development Goals to include management of natural resources and transformation of governance. Sachs covers a wide range of topics in considerable depth. Many colorful graphs and maps supplement the technical material. The author's prescriptions for sustainable development stand in contrast to the more pessimistic views of aid expressed by William Easterly in The White Man's Burden and the focus on individual decisions by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo in Poor Economics.
VERDICT A synthesis and update of Sachs's work that also serves as an excellent comprehensive introduction. Recommended.

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