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Showing 1-10 of 173 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 245 reviews
on March 3, 2014
Sandel is a wonderful author, and you can tell by the way he writes that he is a wonderful teacher in the classroom.

I can recommend this book along with his previous book, "Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?"

These books offer no easy or ready-made answers. Instead, they invite us to reflect on moral and ethical dilemmas, and how we humans try to deal with them.

The bottom line is that morality, just like anything else in this universe, cannot violate the first law of thermodynamics. We live in a relatively closed system as a society and so decisions--political, moral, or economic--all require a knowledge of what we must give before we get.

In his latest book Sandel asks us to consider what we are giving up when we try to put a market price on everything in life.

Oscar Wilde once defined the cynic as a man who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing. I believe that Sandel is trying to warn us against becoming a completely cynical society, a society that looks at everything through the filter of an account ledger, blinding ourselves to all the other ways in which we should relate to one another in a society.

Read this book! You will be glad you did.
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on April 21, 2016
Sandel has all the credentials that make for a fine commentary on modern American commercial society. His deep sense of what constitutes justice informs his many examples in the book of how businesses and corporations have stolen the public arena for their advertisements. He clearly describes how this creeping phenomenon has taken over the commons and usurped public spaces for their capitalistic messages. According to dispassionate marketing theories, these intrusions make sense, in the context of maximizing efficiency and promoting the common good. Sandel points out, however, that the cost is a loss of fairness and a warped idea of what community should be.
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on November 24, 2013
In What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets, Michael Sandel presents many different, thought-provoking situations to determine what the morality of markets is. In addition, he asks what we, as citizens, are going to do about this because our society is drifting from having a free market economy to a market society with every purchase. I really enjoyed Sandel’s book and thought he was a fantastic author. He set up each situation, such as the purchase of human organs or to stand in line for a congressman, like it was a new chapter, so following the scenarios was really easy to do and I found it very hard to get lost while reading this book. Furthermore, Sandel is a Harvard professor, so he has ethos when presenting his case, which only adds to the whole dimension of the book. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in economics, philosophy, or is just looking to kill a car ride; this book will keep you entertained, while forming an opinion for yourself. After reading this book, a person will begin to question each commodity purchase because this book will force a person to think that way.
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on June 17, 2017
I enjoyed this book actually. Was a required reading for my professional ethics class. Do yourself a favor and purchase the audible for an extra 10 bucks.
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on February 7, 2014
I first came upon Micheal J Sandel on the TED network with his free to air lectures on Ethics at Harvard University. which I screen as part of my own ethics lectures.

I then purchased Michael J Sandel's book Justice what's the Right Thing to Do? the contents of which parallel my own syllabus.

As soon as I heard of the release of Wht Money Can't Buy, I purchased it and as not disappointed.

I have since included some of that material into my lectures and suggest that students purchase the book.

I recently saw an interview with Sandel on an Australian radio talk show, which I thought was a great way for him to broadcast his message to a wider audience.

We are fortunate indeed to have Michael J Michael J Sandel to inform us in clear and down to earth way, of the importance of ethics in our life and the way markets may insidiously at work to corrupt us.

John Barnes
Bangkok Thailand
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on September 14, 2016
This book is enjoyable and provides a lot of insight about the hidden effects of technology and global connection on our economies. It's thought-provoking. However, he simply repeats his arguments in each chapter, usually restating his thesis in almost exactly the same way. What I hoped for (and didn't see a whiff of) is some ideas about how to create non-traditional alternatives for exchanging goods and services that shouldn't be transacted in the capitalistic mode.
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on April 11, 2014
Mr. Sandel does a great job of bringing to light the underlying sickness that seems to have infected our society. Like alcoholism and or drug addiction destroy the soul of the abuser, the abuse of marketization and consumerism is destroying the soul of what has made capitalism and democracy able to coexist in a synergistic and powerful collaboration. Markets and consumers have been the two driving forces responsible for growing the most powerful economy the world has ever known. But the society that grew it is in grave danger because the balancing factors of healthy competition coupled with independence, self reliance, and skepticism are being systematically eroded from the fabric of our moral and ethical foundations. I think you should read this book and then discuss these thoughts and ideas with anyone and everyone who will listen.
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on March 16, 2015
Interesting read about the increasing importance that markets have acquired over our everyday lives in the past decades.
Through well chosen examples the author rises the issue that markets change the nature of the goods they provide. Even for a free marketeer like myself, some of the arguments were very compelling, even if in the end I didn't agree.
There are several issues, however, that seems to be central to the wtopic at stake, like "who and how is going to decide whether something should not be sold?". Furtchemore, I feel that it was often not clear where the author actually stands on each of this issues.
All in all, a interesting book.
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on January 5, 2013
Sandel's book provides a key insight into the shift and influence of the Neo-Liberal (total faith in the free market) trend in economics. In his intro he provides a powerful statement into this shift. He states that "we" may be moving from a society that has a market-driven economy to a free-market society. The distinction is very important because the shift means that many aspects of our society (procreation, pollution, education, etc.) that are value-laden are now treated as commodities like soap, cars and pork-bellies.
Sandel offers no solutions, but provides key arguments on both sides showing what a slippery slope this trend is. His analysis is excellent in showing the issue underlying each argument, and in doing so, the reader can cut through the brambles of rhetoric and view the issue in clearer terms. His writing is clear and, as mentioned above, he provides no answers, but rather forces the reader to come to their own position given all the "facts." This is a must read for people to begin to think about important moral decisions in this society and not be swayed by loud-mouthed media "pundits."
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on September 4, 2013
This book was very interesting and well written The basic premise is that there is very little in this world that cannot be bought sold or traded. As consumers we are collectively kept in a pool of debt much of which we don't know. I have spent the last twenty years reducing what I own and what I owe Currently that puts me in the odd position of having zero debt which conversely means I am not a good candidate for banking or other financial institutions It is only with debt that we prove to be suitable borrowers This attitude of banks is a major factor in the GFC where bad debt was added to worse debt until it collapsed under its own weight.

Reading this book shows how many ways people, corporations and governments can pay to be excluded from responsibility and the resulting debt passed onto the lower ter consumer most of whom cannot afford it
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