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6.125 x 9.25 in
6.125 x 9.25 in
The Spirit Level - Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger
By Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson
Groundbreaking analysis showing that greater economic equality-not greater wealth-is the mark of the most successful societies, and offering new ways to achieve it.
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.
Media for The Spirit Level:
“Wilkinson and Pickett make a valuable contribution in enthusiasm and evidence, both of which will help fuel any effort to squeeze down the widening inequalities of our era.”—Boston Review See #1 article See #2 article
Bill Moyers featured The Spirit Level The Bill Moyers Journal
New York Review of Books (4/29) printed five graphs from The Spirit Level to illustrate the excerpt from Tony Judt’s Ill Fares the Land. Also includes this note from Judt: “The best recent statement of this argument comes in Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger (Bloomsbury Press, 2010). I am indebted to them for much of the material in this excerpt.”
A gap between society’s rich and poor can have ugly consequences. Countries with greater income inequality have higher rates of teen pregnancy, infant mortality, obesity, mental illness, drug use, imprisonment, and homicide than countries where wealth is more evenly distributed, according to research by epidemiologists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett.—Parade
Interesting Q&A in the Boston Globe Ideas section with Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett.
Arts and Letters Daily has linked to the Boston Globe piece.
Very nice column from Jerry Large in the Seattle Times today about The Spirit Level.
Kate Pickett appeared on Brian Lehrer’s show on WNYC to talk about The Spirit Level
Interview with Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett on HERE ON EARTH (Wisconsin Public Radio).
Read this piece on the Huffington Post about going out to eat…here and in Sweden
Here's an essay on Alter Net
and don't miss the post on Daily Kos.
Take a look at Kate's video with Big Think.
Here are some radio interviews the authors done in Seattle:
KUOW Weekday Scroll down the page.
KPFA Against the Grain Scroll down the page.
Richard and Kate wrote an op ed on the Guardian’s Comment
"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
"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
"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.