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What Money Can't Buy Audiobook

What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets

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Publisher's Summary

The unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Michael J. Sandel's What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets, read by the author himself. Should we pay children to read books or to get good grades? Is it ethical to pay people to test risky new drugs or to donate their organs? What about hiring mercenaries to fight our wars, outsourcing inmates to for-profit prisons, auctioning admission to elite universities, or selling citizenship to immigrants willing to pay? Isn't there something wrong with a world in which everything is for sale? In recent decades, market values have crowded out nonmarket norms in almost every aspect of life - medicine, education, government, law, art, sports, even family life and personal relations.

Without quite realizing it, Sandel argues, we have drifted from having a market economy to being a market society. In What Money Can't Buy, Sandel examines one of the biggest ethical questions of our time and provokes a debate that's been missing in our market-driven age: What is the proper role of markets in a democratic society, and how can we protect the moral and civic goods that markets do not honour and money cannot buy?

©2012 Michael Sandel (P)2012 Penguin Books Ltd

What the Critics Say

"One of the most popular teachers in the world." (Observer)

"Sandel is touching something deep in both Boston and Beijing." (Thomas Friedman, New York Times)

"One of the world's most interesting political philosophers." (Guardian)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Sheena 19/06/2014
    Sheena 19/06/2014 Member Since 2014
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    "Compassionate economic philosophy"
    What did you like most about What Money Can't Buy?

    Sandel is an antidote to the often dubious and heartless reasoning of mainstream economics. He uses clear language and examples from popular culture to illustrate his points.


    Have you listened to any of Michael J Sandel’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Before buying this book, I had listened to Sandel's series on BBC Radio 4, 'The Public Philosopher', and his Reith Lectures. This book is in much the same vein; if you liked the Radio 4 lectures, I'd recommend this book, and vice versa.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Although this book discusses developments in our society that are quite depressing, I found it quite uplifting. It is a relief to hear someone who places compassion at the centre of his economic philosophy. Sandel always reminds me that among all the mercenaries of the world, there are a lot of genuinely decent human beings. We're not completely doomed.


    Any additional comments?

    One small thing: At about 3hrs 50mins, Sandel refers to a speech by 'Robertson', as if he has already discussed it. I thought I had missed something, but after checking back couldn't find any mention of it. Later in the book, Sandel does indeed discuss Dennis Robertson's speech. I think that sections of the book were moved around at the editing stage, and this non-sequitur was overlooked. If you have bought this book and have noticed this, I found this summary of the speech online:

    Robertson (1954) claimed that by promoting policies that rely, whenever possible, on self-interest rather than altruism or moral considerations, the economist saves society from squandering its scarce supply of virtue. “If we economists do [our] business well,” Robertson (p. 154) concluded, “we can, I believe, contribute mightily to the economizing . . . of that scarce resource Love,” the “most precious thing in the world."

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris 30/09/2013
    Chris 30/09/2013 Member Since 2014
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    "Brilliant"
    Would you listen to What Money Can't Buy again? Why?

    I've listened to this audio book a couple of times because there are so many ideas contained within it that one listen doesn't do it justice. It was good to listen and read the book at the same time. It's a real consciousness raiser.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rodney Jones 08/11/2015
    Rodney Jones 08/11/2015 Member Since 2015

    I am a retired Accountant with two particular literary interests - Ancient Greece (esp. Thucydides ) and Brit. Romanticism (esp.Wordsworth)

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    "FIRST CLASS IN ALL RESPECTS!"

    This should be a 'must read' for everyone who is concerned for ethics in a world that are children are going to inherit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06/08/2015 Member Since 2016
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    "Superb analysis"

    For the first time someone has been able to crystallise and explain the misgivings I have felt about the commodification of everything that has occurred since the 1980s.

    Michael Sandel sets out all the objections to 'market worship' in terms of the unfairness and corruption inherent in the economic view of every area of life, using a range of easy to understand examples from selling blood to viatical insurance.

    I would recommend this book to everyone who feels uneasy at the idea of people having advertising slogans tattooed on their bodies, or who feel horrified at the idea of bidding to adopt a baby.

    Most of all I would recommend it to anyone who really wants to understand the real meaning of "the price of everything and the value of nothing".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    eamonn United Kingdom 06/04/2013
    eamonn United Kingdom 06/04/2013
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    "Astounded"

    In one word that explains how you feel after listening to this book. Clear and articulate with a flow that is almost fiction-like ... This book has both haunted and delighted me for months ... I don't honestly know where to turn but if the trends beautifully explained in this book continue unabated and unchanged then the future ahead will be a dystopian nightmare from which there is no escape!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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