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The Great Escape
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The world is a better place than it used to be. People are healthier, wealthier, and live longer. Yet the escapes from destitution by so many has left gaping inequalities between people and nations. In The Great Escape, Angus Deaton--one of the foremost experts on economic development and on poverty--tells the remarkable story of how, beginning 250 years ago, some parts of the world experienced sustained progress, opening up gaps and setting the stage for today's disproportionately unequal world. Deaton takes an in-depth look at the historical and ongoing patterns behind the health and wealth of nations, and addresses what needs to be done to help those left behind. Deaton describes vast innovations and wrenching setbacks: the successes of antibiotics, pest control, vaccinations, and clean water on the one hand, and disastrous famines and the HIV/AIDS epidemic on the other. He examines the United States, a nation that has prospered but is today experiencing slower growth and increasing inequality. He also considers how economic growth in India and China has improved the lives of more than a billion people. Deaton argues that international aid has been ineffective and even harmful. He suggests alternative efforts--including reforming incentives to drug companies and lifting trade restrictions--that will allow the developing world to bring about its own Great Escape. Demonstrating how changes in health and living standards have transformed our lives, The Great Escape is a powerful guide to addressing the well-being of all nations.
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Table of Contents

Preface ix Introduction: What This Book Is About 1 1 The Wellbeing of the World 23 PART I LIFE AND DEATH 2 From Prehistory to 1945 59 3 Escaping Death in the Tropics 101 4 Health in the Modern World 126 PART II MONEY 5 Material Wellbeing in the United States 167 6 Globalization and the Greatest Escape 218 PART III HELP 7 How to Help Those Left Behind 267 Postscript: What Comes Next? 325 Notes 331 Index 351

About the Author

Angus Deaton is the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Economics and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Economics Department at Princeton University. His many books include "The Analysis of Household Surveys" and "Economics and Consumer Behavior". He is a past president of the American Economic Association.

Reviews

Longlisted for the 2013 Business Book of the Year Award, Financial Times/Goldman Sachs "[A]n illuminating and inspiring history of how mankind's longevity and prosperity have soared to breathtaking heights in modern times... [Deaton's] book gives a stirring overview of the economic progress and medical milestones that, starting with the Industrial Revolution and accelerating after World War II, have caused life expectancies to soar."--Fred Andrews, New York Times "As the title of his book suggests, Deaton sketches out the story of how many people have escaped from poverty and early death. It is a powerful tale. In Deaton's hands, the all too frequently forgotten accomplishments of the last century are given prominence that is both refreshing and welcome."--Edward Hadas, Reuters BreakingViews "The Great Escape combines, to a rare degree, technical sophistication, moral urgency, the wisdom of experience, and an engaging and accessible style. It will deepen both your appreciation of the miracle of modern economic growth and your conviction that the benefits can and should be much more widely enjoyed."--Clive Crook, Bloomberg News "This is a book that deserves to be read by as many people as possible, so that the poverty debates we have in India go beyond ideological grandstanding and the usual television dramatics... The recent years have seen several leading economic thinkers write excellent books for the ordinary reader, and the new Deaton book is firmly in that category."--Niranjan Rajadhyaksha, Mint "Is the world becoming a fairer as well as a richer place? Few economists are better equipped to answer this question than Angus Deaton of Princeton University, who has thought hard about measuring international well-being and is not afraid to roam through history. Refreshingly, Mr Deaton also reaches beyond a purely economic narrative to encompass often neglected dimensions of progress such as better health... [T]he theme requires a big canvas and bold brushwork, and Mr Deaton capably offers both."--Economist "Deaton's lucid book celebrates the riches brought by growth while judiciously explaining why some people are always 'left behind'. He draws a distinction between the inequalities that are opened up by advances in knowledge and those caused by flawed political systems... The book's rich historical and geographical context adds to the power of this message."--John McDermott, Financial Times "In The Great Escape, he dons the hat of an economic historian to provide a fresh perspective on the march of human progress (and its pitfalls) that should inform our current debate about income inequality."--Konrad Yakabuski, Globe & Mail "It's a privilege to know the author of one of the most important books I've read, not least because it acts as entry point into other significant related books, research and debates... Deaton's work reflects this combined pursuit of economics and ethics, manifested through research in to the wealth and health of nations."--John Atherton, Crucible "It would make for delightful reading for economists, donors and policy makers."--Charan Singh, Business Standard

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