Written by Robert and Edward Skidelsky, How Much is Enough? is my favourite book of the year, and my only five-star rating on Goodreads in 2012. The authors have crafted a philosophical discussion about our insatiable appetites for economic growth, which so far have ignored a key question: "To what end?" As students of John Maynard Keynes, the Skidelskys are all for economic growth through capitalism, but as a means not an end and certainly not at any social and environmental cost. I loved this book because it was decidedly apartisan, intellectually robust, and tackled a truly big idea – the quality of life – instead of the utilitarian so-called big ideas that dominate political discourse. It courageously proposes objective definitions to the ancient notion of the good life rather than subscribing to relativist solutions that please everyone but accomplish little. To be most admired is the way that the Skidelskys stand in the forum as public intellectuals, a role that today too often remains unfilled. Whether or not you agree with How Much is Enough?, you will relish the meaty debate the book hopes to inspire, and wish for more authors who contribute to rigorous examination of great ideas.
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