Customer Review

77 of 89 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought-Provoking Fun, April 26, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets (Kindle Edition)
What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets by Michael J. Sandel

" What Money Can't Buy" is the thought-provoking book that asks the ethical question, "Are there some things that money can buy but shouldn't?" With a plethora of fascinating examples, best-selling author and famed Harvard professor Michael J. Sandel once again dazzles the mind with philosophical mind teasers. In this enlightening edition, Sandel challenges the reader with economic ethics, are economic markets replacing our moral judgments? Sandel insists that these are questions that society needs to answer and decide what values should govern our social and civic life. What sets Sandel apart is precisely his ability to ask thought-provoking questions and provide lucid perspectives. This 245-page book is composed of the following five chapters: 1. Jumping the Queue, 2. Incentives, 3. How Markets Crowd Out Morals, 4. Markets in Life and Death, and 5. Naming Rights.

Positives:
1. Elegant, conversational tone that makes this book a treat to read.
2. As thought-provoking a book as you will find.
3. So many fascinating economic topics covered in a brief book.
4. Philosophy made fun. Sandel writes with panache.
5. So easy to understand yet so profound.
6. Very even-handed approach. Does a great job of addressing issues from different perspectives.
7. Sandel challenges you to think. His trademark engaging style draws you in and just when you thought you had it all figured out he forces you to rethink your position. Excellent!
8. A great job of defining the role of our markets.
9. A master at providing countless examples of modern moral dilemmas.
10. The creative minds of the free markets...interesting business models. Line standing business applied to several businesses as a curious example.
11. Some examples will test your moral fiber. I'm not going to spoil it.
12. Thought-provoking questions abound, "Under what conditions do market reflect freedom of choice, and under what conditions do they exert a kind of coercion?"
13. An interesting look at education and pay for grades programs.
14. Health bribes...do they work?
15. Perverse situations...what would you do?
16. The morality of environmental preservation, climate change, endangered species.
17. Great quotes, "Morality represents the way we would like to work, and economics represents how it actually does work."
18. What money can and cannot buy and why. Great stuff.
19. A fascinating look at the "value" of life. Enlightening.
20. The naming rights chapter goes over the business and ethics of paying for ads in practically every aspect of our lives.
21. Being the big baseball fan that I am I was happy to see a couple of sections on baseball.
22. The two running objections of laissez-faire argument: coercion and unfairness. Plenty of examples.
23. Insight into public marketing.
24. The positives and negatives of commercialism.
25. Comprehensive notes section.

Negatives:
1. So good it was too brief...I wanted more.
2. Perhaps not as great as Sandel's previous book: "Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?" but it is still an excellent book.
3. Folks on opposite side of the political spectrum may have something to complain about and that may be a good thing.
4. Surprised there wasn't many shenanigans from Wall Street. That would have taken several books though.
5. Not a ground breaking book just better asked questions.

In summary, I enjoyed this book, it will give you topics to discuss for years to come. What sets Sandel apart is his innate ability to ask interesting questions and provide well thought out answers. Few authors have that innate ability to draw you in and make you ponder your arguments. The book has few shortcomings including the fact that is indeed a short book and a lot may in fact be logical to many. A 4.5 star book out of five. That being said, if you are looking for a philosophical book that is a treat to read, "What Money Can't Buy" is worth every penny. I highly recommend it!

Further suggestions: The excellent, "Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?" by Michael J. Sandel, "Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to the Present" by Jeff Madrick, "Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters" by Richard Rumelt, and "The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality" by Richard Heinberg.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

Reviewer


Location: Maryland, USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 225