The Spirit Level

Why greater equality makes societies stronger.

“Might be the most important book of the year” Guardian 2009.

An incredibly significant and powerful cross-cultural study on inequality and its effects on society.

British academics Wilkinson and Pickett use scores of data (in an interesting way! promise…) to demonstrate that the gap in income between the richest and poorest in a society is the clearest indicator of social (dys)function.

Compellingly, they show that the larger the disparity in income within a society, the unhappier even the wealthiest are. Obesity, violence, loneliness, status anxiety and lack of sense of community are not the conditions of the poor.

The argument that economic growth is the answer to society’s ills is challenged by examples of the world’s healthiest and happiest societies that share the same truth – a more equal distribution of income. A successful society is one that achieves greater economic equality over greater economic wealth and with this central tenet; the authors provide constructive options for creating more collaborative and socially successful communities.

Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett
Paperback, 2011
400 pages

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