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April 29, 2006


Mike Huben

If you want a stupid, ideological, unnuanced review, be sure to go to Tech Central Station.

If you want a more balanced evaluation, try this one from Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen in Foreign Affairs.

Sen likes some of what he sees, but he spanks Easterly severely: "Unfortunately, Easterly gets swept up by the intoxicating power of purple prose (I could not avoid recollecting Kipling's description of words as "the most powerful drug used by mankind"). He forgoes the opportunity for a much-needed dialogue, opting instead for a rhetorical drubbing of those whom he sees as well-intentioned enemies of the poor."

Nor does Easterly take a one-sided libertarian view, as Sen points out. "Market ideologues may love the battering that large-scale state intervention receives through Easterly's hard-hitting prose. But they will be less happy with his carefully spelled-out skepticism of schemes for the immediate replacement of all economic institutions with a pure market system."

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