Let me say one thing straight away. It is brilliant that this book exists. That Daniel Dorling has meticulously researched and taken the time to collate all the facts and figures into a dense but readable narrative that so confidently and precisely skewers the notion that we have all found our natural place in the order of things due to ability, ambition and work ethic. Yes this book does a great job at that .
You sense a however coming and you are correct. Before I come to the however , I feel i must add a caveat. The way that I see it the people who really need to read this book. The rich , the powerful , the policy and decision makers are never going to read a book like this. This is a book that is going to be read , mostly , by those who morally and politically sensitive to the needs of the others. In other words this is a book that is going to preach to the converted.
Injustice is a coruscating and sweeping evaluation of British politics that bluntly dismisses a plethora of supposedly progressive policies as ineffective and distractions from what he says are the real trends undermining the wellbeing of individuals, communities and the country at large.
He identifies five sets of beliefs - elitism, exclusion, prejudice, greed and despair - that he claims are replacing Beveridge's five social evils, created at the dawn of the welfare state (ignorance, want, idleness, squalor and disease), and have become so entrenched in Britain and some other affluent countries that they uphold an unjust system that perpetuates extreme inequality. Dorling argues powerfully that politicians in Britain and the other most unequal rich countries ( he found only the US, Portugal and Singapore out of the 25 affluent states he analysed to be more unequal than Britain ) have accepted and propagated the detrimental idea that inequality is "unfortunate" but inevitable, rather than seeing it, first and foremost, as unjust.
There is much more detail and depth to Injustice than that and it would frankly take pages and pages of text to do it justice ( no pun intended ). In one sense this means that through the sheer relentless density of the text and the proliferation of charts & graphs Injustice is difficult to read with any great intensity in one sitting . It is a book to be digested in small edifying chunks.
This is an immeasurably important book, a source of data with which to support the argument that we have to pay meticulous attention to inequality if we are to tackle social injustice, and, as such, highly recommended. My earlier rather downbeat assessment of who will read this book should not be taken too literally, though i still stsand firmly by the point . The more people who read this book the better, from wherever. As this quote proves I suppose. "Given this, our power and way forward has to be in joining together, making alliances, making everyone's voice heard: 'we realise that, although none of us is superhuman, neither are any of us without significance.'