The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger

Front Cover
Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Apr 23, 2010 - Social Science - 400 pages
2 Reviews
This groundbreaking book, based on thirty years' research, demonstrates that more unequal societies are bad for almost everyone within them-the well-off and the poor. The remarkable data the book lays out and the measures it uses are like a spirit level which we can hold up to compare different societies. The differences revealed, even between rich market democracies, are striking. Almost every modern social and environmental problem-ill health, lack of community life, violence, drugs, obesity, mental illness, long working hours, big prison populations-is more likely to occur in a less equal society. The book goes to the heart of the apparent contrast between material success and social failure in many modern national societies.
The Spirit Level does not simply provide a diagnosis of our ills, but provides invaluable instruction in shifting the balance from self-interested consumerism to a friendlier, more collaborative society. It shows a way out of the social and environmental problems which beset us, and opens up a major new approach to improving the real quality of life, not just for the poor but for everyone. It is, in its conclusion, an optimistic book, which should revitalize politics and provide a new way of thinking about how we organize human communities.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

Fixing Our Societies Together.

User Review  - BookHunterEG - Borders

Quote from page 5: “…the truth is that both the broken society and the broken economy resulted from the growth of inequality.” – taken from, The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies ... Read full review

Review: The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger

User Review  - Eamon Doody - Goodreads

I have always considered myself a committed capitalist and free marketeer/free trader. However I have to say that my faith in the ultimate power for good of the market has been shaken by the recent ... Read full review

Contents

The end of an era
3
Poverty or inequality?
15
How inequality gets under the skin
31
Community life and social relations
49
Mental health and drug use
63
15
67
Physical health and life expectancy
73
wider income gaps wider waists
89
gaining respect
129
Imprisonment and punishment
145
unequal opportunities
157
Dysfunctional societies
173
laicos ruO Equality and sustainability
215
Appendix
267
Index
279
922
289

Educational performance
103
recycling deprivation
119

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2010)

Richard Wilkinson has played a formative role in international research and his work has been published in 10 languages. He studied economic history at the London School of Economics before training in epidemiology and is Professor Emeritus at the University of Nottingham Medical School and Honorary Professor at University College London.

Kate Pickett is a Senior Lecturer at the University of York and a National Institute for Health Research Career Scientist. She studied physical anthropology at Cambridge, nutritional sciences at Cornell and epidemiology at Berkeley before spending four years as an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago.

Bibliographic information