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The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone Paperback – 4 Nov 2010
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'This is a book with a big idea, big enough to change political thinking' -- John Carey, Sunday Times
'what might be the most important book of the year' -- John Grace, Guardian --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'This is a book with a big idea, big enough to change political thinking' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
It shows how very unequal societies have much worse problems, even for the very rich. You just end up with the rich having to live in gated communities for security.
Certainly, this is one of the most influential books I've ever read.
This book illustrates the negative impacts of living in a not so equal society, by explaining how bad it is for people on the higher and lower end of the socioeconomic ladder. So inequality especially health inequality is bad for everyone, but some organisations and people benefit from this.
So as a university student i found that this book helped me identify the reason for the link between inequality and social problems, while also showing statistical bases; HOWEVER, these statistical bases are to some extend manipulative. So, the way you interpret this book depends on whether you are for or against capitalism. Either way, I enjoyed reading this book and I would highly recommend them to students to help them gain an insight into the extend of inequality but please note it is variables. So, there are a few glaring flaws but nothing to major.
Would I recommend this? Yes, but please note that this book is pretty much politically motivated.
The impacts of inequality show up in poorer health, lower educational attainment, higher crime rates, lower social capital, lower trust, lower co-operation the more unequal the society becomes. Wilkinson and Pickett give us clear evidence for these statements.
For the last twelve years we have endured in the UK a Labour government that preaches equality (then wonders "equality of what?") whilst actually presiding over increasing inequality and reducing social mobility.
Wilkinson and Pickett present their evidence well, in summary and clearly. I have the benefit of having been reading the research work on inequalities over several years so I recognised their evidence. If you need further evidence then you could follow the references, or read some of Wilkinson's The Impact of Inequality: How to Make Sick Societies Healthierearlier works, or Michael Marmot's useful book, "Status Syndrome." Status Syndrome: How Your Social Standing Directly Affects Your HealthTheir presentation of evidence is strong, and it is difficult after seeing their evidence to argue in favour of greater inequality at all.
Inequality is clearly a bad thing for a society, and its constituent individuals.Read more ›
Wilkinson and Pickett buttress their assertions with a vast array of data. In some cases the correlation between inequality and social problems is very strong, for example between income inequality and rates of imprisonment, in others it is merely pretty strong. There are a few exceptions, but the general case for the link between inequality and a variety of damaging social problems is concluisively made.
Identifying the reason for link between inequality and social problems, disentangling cause and effect, is more problematic. The authors make quite strong cases in some instances, but in others the link is of a more speculative. More studies evidently need to be carried out.
The moral of this story: that inequality is damaging to society seems self-evident, at least to this reader. The novelty in this book is the volume of data accumulated to back the argument, and the number of social issues examined. It puts defenders of the unequal societies we live in, particularly the Anglo-Saxon countries, on the back foot during any discussions of inequality.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
‘The Spirit Level’ is the sort of books that the non-specialist reader could enjoy and gain from reading as much, if not more than those with a more direct interest in matters of... Read morePublished 12 days ago by os
Has significantly shaped the way I understand the world around me. A must read for anyone looking for solutions to societal problems.Published 2 months ago by Fraser McClennan
Interesting read. Can see how it divides people in the comments.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Interesting set of ideas, although I found it a little repetitive.
With a mass of data presented to you there is an inclination to take it all as fact. Read more