January 16th, 2015

Book Review: The Age of Sustainable Development

A leading economist offers a brilliant analysis of the worldwide need to balance economic development and environmental sustainability.

Sustainable development is “the greatest, most complicated challenge humanity has ever faced,” writes Sachs (Sustainable Development, Health Policy and Management/Columbia Univ.; To Move the World: JFK’s Quest for Peace, 2013, etc.). In an important, comprehensive and remarkably accessible book—a standout in a sea of jargon-laden titles that fail to explain and vivify this enormously complex topic—the author writes lucidly about a staggering array of intertwined challenges, including poverty, overpopulation, species extinction, overextraction from oceans, urbanization, social mobility and climate change. Sachs stresses that sustainable development is “inherently an exercise in problem solving,” and he calls for a holistic approach and new ideas to produce “prosperous, inclusive, sustainable, and well-governed societies.”

Required reading for policymakers and students, and general readers will finish the book realizing they actually understand what sustainable development is all about.

Read at Kirkus Review.

 

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