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The Spirit Level

Why Equality Is Better for Everyone

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

Why do we mistrust people more in the UK than in Japan? Why do Americans have higher rates of teenage pregnancy than the French? What makes the Swedish thinner than the Greeks? The answer: inequality.

This groundbreaking book, based on years of research, provides hard evidence to show:

- How almost everything - from life expectancy to depression levels, violence to illiteracy - is affected not by how wealthy a society is, but how equal it is
- That societies with a bigger gap between rich and poor are bad for everyone in them - including the well-off
- How we can find positive solutions and move towards a happier, fairer future

Urgent, provocative and genuinely uplifting, The Spirit Level has been heralded as providing a new way of thinking about ourselves and our communities, and could change the way you see the world.

From Publishers Weekly

30 November 2009 – Wilkinson and Pickett make an eloquent case that the income gap between a nation's richest and poorest is the most powerful indicator of a functioning and healthy society. Amid the statistics that support their argument (increasing income disparity sees corresponding spikes in homicide, obesity, drug use, mental illness, anxiety, teenage pregnancies, high school dropouts even incidents of playground bullying), the authors take an empathetic view of our ability to see beyond self-interest. While there are shades of Darwinism in the human hunt for status, there is evidence that the human brain with its distinctively large neocortex evolved the way it has because we were designed to be attentive to, depend on, and be depended on by others. Wilkinson and Pickett do not advocate one way or the other to close the equality gap. Government redistribution of wealth and market forces that create wealth can be equally effective, and the authors provide examples of both. How societies achieve equality, they argue, is less important than achieving it in the first place. Felicitous prose and fascinating findings make this essential reading.

Customer Reviews

The word

Denied by hardline rightwingers but actually quoted by Labour and Tories recently. This book talks of a future fair for all. How can that be a bad thing?

Why do people still fall for this?

Here we are again - a praise of communism. Contrary to the author I had first hand experience of living in this system of equality and none of his claims were true. Not a single one.

Chris Allen

this does not praise the eastern bloc economies, as one reviewer suggests. it does however bring together lots of statistics, mainly those gathered by the UN or OECD to illustrate that inequality in developed nations is a cancer we can all do without. buy it, share it, discuss it with anyone you can. then decide to act on what you know

The Spirit Level
View in iTunes
  • £7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Sociology
  • Published: 04 November 2010
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Print Length: 400 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

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