Spirit Level,The: Why Equality Is Better For Everyone

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9780141032368: Spirit Level,The: Why Equality Is Better For Everyone

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; and, 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.

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About the Author:

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 Professor of Epidemiology 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. Her work, with Richard Wilkinson, on The Spirit Level was shortlisted for Research Project of the Year 2009 by the Times Higher Education Supplement, and their book was chosen as one of the Top Ten Books of the Decade, by the New Statesman.

Review:

“A important book ... [Wilkinson and Pickett] argue that gross inequality tears at the human psyche, creating anxiety, distrust and an array of mental and physical ailments -- and they cite mountains of data to support their argument.” ―Nicholas Kristof, New York Times

“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...Felicitous prose and fascinating findings make this essential reading.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred)

“In this fascinating sociological study, the authors do an excellent job of presenting the research, analyzing nuances, and offering policy suggestions for creating more equal and sustainable societies. For all readers, specialized or not, with an interest in understanding the dynamics today between economic and social conditions.” ―Library Journal

The Spirit Level will change the way you think about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, especially if you live in the United States. You will reexamine what it means to be successful, how you will seek and achieve personal satisfaction, and what you owe your fellow citizen.” ―Jo Perry, BookBrowse.com

“It has taken two experts from the field of public health to deliver a major study of the effects of inequality on society. Though Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett are British, their research explores the United States in depth, and their work is an important contribution to the debate our country needs.” ―Robert B. Reich, from the foreword

“Might be the most important book of the year.” ―Guardian

“Fascinating and deeply provoking...The Spirit Level does contain a powerful political message. It is impossible to read it and not to be impressed by how often greater equality appears to be the answer, whatever happens to be the question. It provides a connection between what otherwise look like disparate social problems.” ―David Runciman, London Review of Books

“This is a book with a big idea, big enough to change political thinking ... In half a page [The Spirit Level] tells you more about the pain of inequality than any play or novel could.” ―John Carey, Sunday Times

“Epidemiologists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett don't soft-soap their message. It is brave to write a book arguing that economies should stop growing when millions of jobs are being lost ... we know there is something going wrong, and this book goes a long way towards explaining why ... anyone who believes that society is the result of what we do, rather than who we are, should read The Spirit Level because of its unarguable battery of evidence, and because its conclusion is simple: we do better when we're equal.” ―Lynsey Hanley, Guardian

“A crucial contribution to the ideological argument. [The Spirit Level] demonstrates the scientific truth of the assertion that social democrats have made for a hundred years – sometimes more out of hope than intellectual certainty ... Equality is not just a policy for the poor; it benefits us all and, therefore, should appeal to us all ... The importance of The Spirit Level is that it provides a vital part of the intellectual manifesto on which the battle for a better society can be fought.” ―Roy Hattersley, New Statesman

“The connection [between income inequality and dysfunctional societies] is spelt out with stark clarity in Wilkinson and Pickett's remarkable new book. Income inequality, they show beyond any doubt, is not just bad for those at the bottom but for everyone.” ―Will Hutton, Observer

“Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett put forward compelling evidence that income inequalities are at the root of a wide range of health and social problems in society.” ―Niall Crowley, Irish Times Weekend Review

“Wilkinson and Pickett make a powerful argument as they pile on the charts linking inequality and society's problems.” ―Brian Clegg, BBC Focus

“[That Inequality causes social ills] is a sweeping claim, yet the evidence, here painstakingly marshaled, is hard to dispute.” ―Economist

“The Spirit Level reconciles the contradictory impulses the financial crisis creates [and] marshals voluminous evidence.” ―Guardian

“Many readers will be inspired as I am by a new book, The Spirit Level ... Wilson and Pickett compare not only different countries, but also the 50 US states. They show that greater equality benefits not just the poor, but all occupational groups. [The Spirit Level has] lots of graphs but no jargon.” ―Peter Wilby, New Statesman

“[Wilkinson and Pickett] argue that, among the rich countries of the world, states with less inequality in incomes perform better on a wide range of indicators ... The argument is a powerful counter to any simple equation of social progress and the advance of GDP.” ―John Kay, Financial Times

“A spruce, straightforward writing style is periodically illustrated with clear, easy-to-grasp graphs, presenting information from a wide array of sources ... it is fascinating.” ―Stephen Price, Sunday Business Post Agenda

“Compelling and shocking. All free marketers should be made to memorize it from cover to cover.” ―Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Independent

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