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The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time
The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time
by Jeffrey Sachs
Edition: Hardcover
287 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars important work but lackluster writing, June 13, 2005
There are a billion people in the world living in extreme poverty (under < $1/day) and another 1.6 billion in moderate poverty ($1- $2 /day). These numbers do not include the "relative poor", people that have basic amenities (food, water, health-care) but still have to live by the day. This book is the how to elevate the 2.6 billion from poverty to "being poor".

In the early chapters, Sachs talks about why certain countries have made it rich while others are still mired in poverty. Why the "new" countries of the west (UK, USA) have enjoyed economic prosperity while "old" civilizations (China, India) have been lagging. He then establishes his credibility by giving a chronological account of his economic deliverance to countries in dire straits. Bolivia, Poland, Russia, China and India are his case studies. Based on his accounts, the former three countries have benifited directly from his proposals. The economic boom in China and India, however, seem to have begun without his explicit advice. Nonetheless, he has a good handle on the diverse economies of the world and lays a good foundation of "clinical" economics through globalization.

Next, Sachs writes about his poignant experiences in Africa. AIDS, malaria, extended droughts, rampant corruption and civil wars - all together have created the "perfect storm" for the extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. Sachs contends that corruption is not the key for poverty and notes that other more-corrupt nation like Indonesia and Bangladesh, seems to have climbed up the economic ladder. (Although I must note here that I spoke with a Ethiopian cab-driver when I was in D.C recently. When I asked about what he thought of the recent Bush-Blair aid package for Africa, he chortled saying "Man, they must first remove the corrupt goverments!").

Sachs chides the IMF and World Bank (western countries) for their abstemious distribution of funds to Africa. These institutions ask the African governments to propose plans for economic amelioration. When the governments come back with realistic proposals to build infrastructure, provide water and health and bring jobs, the west asks them to trim their budgets. After many iterations and negotiations, the west finally says "Look, we can give you about $2 billion...do what you can with it". Ridiculous!

Sachs contends that the west should give a lumpsum upfront for the basic infrastructure (roads, electricity, water) to be setup. Only then can sustained economic reforms materialise. He assails the Bush government with ridicule and censure for turning a blind-eye to Africa and choosing to start a unnecessary war instead.

Sachs concludes that if the west keeps the promise of giving 0.7% of their GDP to the poor nations (USA is the most notorious, giving < 0.2%), 2.6 billion people would get their three square meals a day.

"End of Poverty" is a hard read, but a must-read for anyone compassionate.


JavaServer Faces
JavaServer Faces
by Hans Bergsten
Edition: Paperback
Price: $32.96
93 used & new from $0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars some interesting topics covered..., October 11, 2004
This review is from: JavaServer Faces (Paperback)
but overall fails to deliver. I bought this book alongwith Core JSF. The latter turned out to be much better for getting into JSF. This book has some coverage on creating views in code or using html/xml etc, but otherwise it lacks any depth in other topics.

One annoying thing is there are no subsections in this book...the only way to tell which section you are in is by deciphering the font SIZE (its the same font, same style)!!


Core JavaServer Faces
Core JavaServer Faces
by David M. Geary
Edition: Paperback
72 used & new from $0.01

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good intro for JSF but..., October 8, 2004
This review is from: Core JavaServer Faces (Paperback)
I am currently reading David Geary�s Core JavaServer Faces book. I have read Chapters 1-9 and Chapter 12 (Ch 10 talks about JSF/ external service, Ch 11 about JSF/wireless clients).

One thing that annoyed me right away was he starts talking about the core JSF classes (UIInput, FacesContext etc) in early chapters without a formal introduction to the JSF class hierarchy. He does do a good job in laying out the JSF and HTML tags, but he never does the same for the classes. Well, I think that maybe the class hierarchy will come soon, but as I finished chapter 9 (custom components), I realized he never did that. As a programmer, I feel that this is a serious lacking in a book.Again, as a programmer, I managed to overcome this lacking by referring to the JSF Javadocs for the class hierarchy as I was reading thru the chapters. David Geary's own article on JSF does a good job of introducing the classes (although the names are a little outdated).

His examples are very good (the downloaded code builds/works great), but I did not find any that "pushed the envelope" of JSF. For example, in the custom components chapter, he talks about building a custom spinner :roll:; yes, this is a good intro to howto, but I would like to see something more complicated and exciting, like a tree or a list component. After all, the ability to plugin custom components as tags is one of the enticing features of the JSF specification. It would have also been nice if he had talked more about JavaScript/JSF interaction.

The book is about 600+ pages long, but I think half the pages are just code printed (a lot of the code is also repeated in the discussion within the chapters). I dont know if this is good (lot of printed code) or bad (lot of wasted trees). The longer chapters kind of meander between discussion of code and printed code, and by the time I was with the chapter, I had to go back and put the pieces together myself. It would have been nice if he summarized the concepts in the end. (I plan to summarize the `Custom Components' chapter soon)

I did find the chapter on Tiles and the `How do I' section on using the Commons Validator for client-side validation, quite interesting and informative :cool: (although, I think he should have delved more into these topics instead of a whole chapter on the JSF dataTable tag!)

Bottomline, Core JSF is a good introduction to JSF with some advanced discussion too. I recommend it to get started on JSF, but with a healthy dose of JSF JavaDocs and/or another book.

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