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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 - Joanna - Goodreads
Good introduction to issue of poverty, but thought he could do more to site other authors; definitely written as an introduction. Read full review
Review: The End of PovertyUser Review - Hazel - Goodreads
A very thorough, specific, and thought provoking book about the underlying reasons for poverty in the developing world, and potential solutions. Sachs, an economist, who has helped countries such as ... Read full review
Review: The End of PovertyUser Review - Vicki Edwards - Goodreads
It's a lot longer than it looks as the library will surely attest by my renewals but its well worth the read, what he says is based so much on his experience and recognition of the need to act. Read full review
Review: The End of PovertyUser Review - Miranda - Goodreads
Jeffrey Sachs really explained the global economic situation well. I really appreciated that he gave so much history and political background for global financial decisions made. Poverty is a complex ... Read full review
Review: The End of PovertyUser Review - Jonathan Haley - Goodreads
Dead centerist and a bit wonkish. Puts all his eggs in the aid basket doesn't go into climate, history, or give much thought to selfagency of the poor. Still well written and important for perspective. Read full review
Review: The End of PovertyUser Review - Alison - Goodreads
This has been a great book for me. Blake is so proud that I read an economics book. The author did a great job at explaining a possible end to poverty. I only wish it would happen! Read full review
Review: The End of PovertyUser Review - Alissandra D. - Goodreads
It was an interesting read i wish there was another book Read full review
Review: The End of PovertyUser Review - Greg Taylor - Goodreads
Jeffrey Sachs will change the way you view poverty, and hopefully what you do about it. Read full review
Review: The End of PovertyUser Review - Nastassia - Goodreads
Sachs makes a strong case for grants-not-loans to developing/least developed nations, but doesn't really explain why top-down programs to reach the MDGs are failing despite funding... I found Easterly's response more compelling. Read full review