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My mother and I visited the fortified port of Valletta today. Aside from walking about in the centre of town, the group also took a boat cruise along the edge of the harbour, which divides into narrow sections like the fingers of two hands. Like Tallinn, Valletta has been subjected to a great many attacks and invasions, from different directions and in different periods. The ongoing strategic importance of a useful pair of islands in the middle of the Mediterranean is thereby demonstrated.
The city itself reminds me a great deal of the quieter parts of Rome. The streets are narrow and flanked by multi-story buildings with shuttered windows. Wild cats are numerous and fearless: sunning themselves and adding to the menace posed to Maltese birds by the many shooting clubs you can hear off in the countryside. The main cathedral is quite an unusual building, with a floor plan markedly different from that of any Christian church I can recall seeing, as well as a profusion of patterned wall sections composed of deep grooves cut in stone.
Today involved much less walking than the first day - a shortfall that it seems will be remedied tomorrow as we walk to and around the old capital of Rabat. I hope that the many photos I took over the course of the boat ride and wandering in Valletta will turn out well.
While I have been in Malta, I have been reading Jeffrey Sachs’ The End of Poverty. While it’s not the most well written book - his excess of exclamation marks is especially annoying - it is nonetheless one that strikes me as extremely important. The idea that we could eliminate the kind of extreme poverty that cuts people off from any chance of improving their lot and that of their children by 2025 is a profoundly inspiring and exciting one. It’s the kind of idea you really wish could take hold within the corridors of power and the hearts and minds of people in the developed world. It’s the kind of project that is enormously more important than any one life, or even the entire history of any one country. The imperative is to act as a collective in a way that humanity has never managed: to conjure the mechanisms by which bold ideas and conceptions of justice can be converted into reality out in the world. To be shown fairly convincingly that we have the power to end untold misery around the globe creates a real obligation to make good on that potential. It’s an effort that I hope to become a part of.
Review: The End of PovertyUser Review - Curtis - Goodreads
This started out as a 2 star book. I was afraid Sachs was just another neoliberal globalization fan. Luckily, that didn't prove to be the case. It ended up being a great read. I'm glad there's dreamers like him to remind the rest of us to not be so cynical about ending poverty. Read full review
Review: The End of PovertyUser Review - Philip Blen - Goodreads
In plain english Sacks explains the proper method to turn an economy around. His writing are based on actual results accomplished around the world. Easy to understand. Highly recommend for anyone ... Read full review
Review: The End of PovertyUser Review - Straton Mwashighadi - Goodreads
A good read with regards to the economics of foreign aid...and the development Read full review
Review: The End of PovertyUser Review - Kevin - Goodreads
Although there is a lot of detail that you can skip over in the middle of the book if you arent concerned with specific numbers, the realization that extreme poverty can be eliminated in the world so ... Read full review
Review: The End of PovertyUser Review - Christopher - Goodreads
Sachs is intelligent, willing, ambitious, and a great leader. Unfortunately, he is barking up the wrong tree. Even more unfortunately, everyone is barking with him. Read full review
Review: The End of PovertyUser Review - Theresa - Goodreads
I think most are confused when it comes to the way the world has been constructed to work. Many believe that lower income/poor nations were always poor or started out that way and that is why they ... Read full review
Review: The End of PovertyUser Review - Kevin Sheives - Goodreads
Sweeping and insightful analysis into a pressing global problem that unfortunately doesn't get enought attention. Loved the chapter focusing on microfinance. Read full review
Review: The End of PovertyUser Review - Lee-Ellen - Goodreads
If everyone read this book, the historical stories and evidence would be enough to move people to action. Read full review
Review: The End of PovertyUser Review - Zana - Goodreads
This is a really good book. It is clear, informed, and convincing. It is even inspiring. I had no idea that economists could be so human or so moral. Still, I desperately want to read a good critique ... Read full review