[A] personal, passionate and original book ... One does not have to agree with everything in the book to realise its scope and power ... This book is admirable in many ways: the broadened ethical approach to economics; the range of economic, social and political issues it analyses; and the analysis of the economics of agglomeration in today’s world. Yet it also breeds despair, at least in me ... This is a beautifully written and important book. Read it.
Collier’s new book revisits this familiar territory, but stands out because it is pragmatic, blunt—and optimistic ... The technical discussion is enlivened by one-liners ... Mr Collier knows what he wants—but do voters want it, too?
Paul Collier is nothing if not ambitious ... Collier belongs to that sadly small band of truly useful social science academics who read the most relevant research, transcending the narrow specialisation of the academy, and apply it in a pragmatic manner to contemporary problems ... Collier can be a bit slapdash with his facts and perhaps tries to cram too much into one book, meaning some ideas feel half-digested. He has a good turn of phrase, though, and can be witty too, on the social bias of Spellcheck for example. This book is not an easy read but it is an important one — the revenge of the clever provincial biting the metropolitan hand that has fed him so generously.