Author Jeffrey Sachs presents "The Price of Civilization"

The Union League of Chicago's Authors Group

Business Book Roundtable

October 19, 2011: 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Author Jeffrey Sachs presents "The Price of Civilization - Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity." Noon luncheon and author presentation followed by Q&A and book signing.


The Union League of Chicago
65 West Jackson Boulevard
Chicago, Illinois

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Event Details

Books will be available for sale at the event. Business or business casual attire. Jeans are prohibited.

Publisher's Book Summary:

For more than three decades, Jeffrey D. Sachs has been at the forefront of international economic problem solving. But Sachs turns his attention back home in The Price of Civilization, a book that is essential reading for every American. In a forceful, impassioned, and personal voice, he offers not only a searing and incisive diagnosis of our country's economic ills but also an urgent call for Americans to restore the virtues of fairness, honesty, and foresight.

As he has done in dozens of countries around the world in the midst of economic crises, Sachs turns his unique diagnostic skills to what ails the American economy. He finds that both political parties—and many leading economists—have missed the big picture, offering shortsighted solutions such as stimulus spending or tax cuts to address complex economic problems that require deeper solutions. Sachs argues that we have profoundly underestimated globalization's long-term effects on our country, which create deep and largely unmet challenges with regard to jobs, incomes, poverty, and the environment. America's single biggest economic failure, Sachs argues, is its inability to come to grips with the new global economic realities.

Yet Sachs goes deeper than an economic diagnosis. By taking a broad, holistic approach—looking at domestic politics, geopolitics, social psychology, and the natural environment as well—Sachs reveals the larger fissures underlying our country's current crisis. He shows how 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. He also looks at the crisis in our culture, in which an overstimulated and consumption-driven populace in a ferocious quest for wealth now suffers shortfalls of social trust, honesty, and compassion.

Finally, Sachs offers a plan to turn the crisis around. He argues persuasively that the problem is not America's abiding values, which remain generous and pragmatic, but the ease with which political spin and consumerism run circles around those values. He bids the reader to reclaim the virtues of good citizenship and mindfulness toward the economy and one another. Most important, he bids each of us to accept the price of civilization, so that together we can restore America to its great promise.

The Price of Civilization is a masterly road map for prosperity, founded on America's deepest values and on a rigorous understanding of the twenty-first-century world economy.

Additional information on the book




Register Online

Reservations required.  Book is not included in event fee.  Books will be available for sale at the event.

Deadline: 10/17/2011

Speaker Profiles

Jeffrey D. Sachs (Speaker)
Director, The Earth Institute & Professor, Health Policy and Management, Columbia University

Jeffrey D. Sachs is the Director of The Earth Institute and professor of health policy and management at Columbia University. He is also special advisor to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. From 2002-2006, he was Director of the UN Millennium Project, which set global goals to reduce extreme poverty, disease and hunger by 2015. He was among TIME's 100 most influential leaders in 2004 and 2005. He is the author of many books and articles, including Common Wealth and The End of Poverty, both of which were international bestsellers. He is one of the leading voices calling for economic development that is in line with environmental sustainabilty.


Dana Damyen, '02 
Principal, TwoRoads Solutions

Other Information

Business or business casual attire is required.  Jeans are prohibited.