The Price of Life

The Price of Life: In Search of What We're Worth and Who Decides

Hardback Published on: 14/03/2024
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The Price of Life
A spine chilling, impossible to ignore piece of dystopian journalism
The Price of Life is a sobering and darkly fascinating look at a somewhat taboo topic…the price society places on a human life. Kleenman navigates the murk... READ MORE
Lisa Hurd
The Price of Life
An enlightening peek behind the (funeral parlour's) curtain
There is something totally thrilling about Kleeman's journalism. Her book is emotive, impassioned, but unafraid of peeling the curtain back, unembarrassed ... READ MORE
Archie at Wells


- $2-3,000 to save the life of a child in Africa

- $15,180 to hire a hitman

- $368,901 to pay the average ransom demand.

We say that life is priceless. Yet the cost of saving a life, creating a life or compensating for a life taken is routinely calculated and put into practice. In a world in love with data, it is possible to run a cost-benefit analysis on anything – including life itself. For philanthropists, judges, criminals, healthcare providers and government ministers, it’s just part of the job.

In The Price of Life, journalist, broadcaster and documentary-maker Jenny Kleeman takes us on an adventure to meet some of the people who decide what we're worth.

In a series of extraordinary encounters – with people who have faked their own death or lost a loved one to terrorism, with hitmen and with modern day slaves – she discovers more questions than answers.

What does it mean for our humanity when we crunch the numbers to decide who gets the expensive life-saving drugs, and who misses out? What do we learn about ourselves when philanthropic giving by the effective altruists in Silicon Valley is received by some, while others are left to suffer? Are some lives really worth more than others? And what happens when we take human emotions out of the equation?

Does it make for a fairer decision-making process – or for moral bankruptcy? Exploring the final frontier in monetization, Kleeman asks what we lose and what we gain by leaving the judgments that really matter up to cold, hard logic.

  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan
  • ISBN: 9781035004966
  • Number of pages: 352
  • Weight: 458g
  • Dimensions: 224 x 144 x 32 mm

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