Summary of The Great Escape

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In this intriguing study, Princeton economist Angus Deaton examines the relationship between wealth and health – today and historically. Deaton asks: How can people make today’s unequal world more equal and fair? He punctures common misconceptions, like the idea that introducing farming improved lives, and addresses historical discontinuities – those periods when the wealthy lived shorter lives than the masses. At times, the professor meanders, exploring ideas or moments (his discussion of “variolation,” for instance) that prove intrinsically interesting, though his text would flow more easily without as much detail. Even so, this is a rich, thoughtful analysis. getAbstract recommends Deaton’s considered history to anyone interested in science, medicine, patterns of wealth accumulation, foreign aid, public policy, national economies – or human happiness.

In this book, you will learn

  • How the societal distribution of wealth has varied throughout history,
  • How people escaped poverty and suffering, and
  • What factors contribute to health and well-being.

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About the Author

Angus Deaton is the Eisenhower Professor of economics and international affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.


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