Over at Our Word is Our Weapon, Jim has done a good job in explaining why Bill Easterly’s critique of Jeff Sachs’s new book, The End of Poverty, is not up to Easterley’s usual standards. I’m thought Bill Easterly’s book, The Elusive Quest for Growth, was excellent. Indeed, one lesson I thought I learned from it was Easterly’s point that poverty can be caused by a vicious circle – a poverty trap – which required action on a range of fronts to break out of. I was therefore very surprised by his criticism of Sachs for being insufficiently piecemeal in his approach. I’m only part way through Sachs’s book, so it is too early for me to comment thoughtfully on the substance. But I find the style profoundly irritating: self-centred, self-contratulatory and arrogant. The fight against poverty is a shared endeavour.