An outstanding treatise by Amartya Sen
, winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize for Economics
. The book argues that freedom
is both a means and an end. A great amount of research is presented in the book relating freedom to happiness
and comparing it with the relation between wealth
and happiness. Among the measures quantifying happiness is overall lifespan. For instance, there are many places in the world that are relatively poor
but where the lifestyle and lifespan seem to be superior. In contrast, there are relatively rich
areas of the world that are perfectly miserable.
As I see it, the real drawback of this book is that the very people who could most benefit from these compelling arguments are the least literate, most oppressed. This book will only have an impact if intermediaries step forward to apply these principles on behalf of the un-free.