The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger
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The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger

3.6 15
by Richard Wilkinson, Kate Pickett
     
 

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ISBN-10: 1608190366

ISBN-13: 9781608190362

Pub. Date: 12/22/2009

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

It is a well-established fact that in rich societies the poor have shorter lives and suffer more from almost every social problem. The Spirit Level, based on thirty years of research, takes this truth a step further. One common factor links the healthiest and happiest societies: the degree of equality among their members. Further, more unequal societies

Overview

It is a well-established fact that in rich societies the poor have shorter lives and suffer more from almost every social problem. The Spirit Level, based on thirty years of research, takes this truth a step further. One common factor links the healthiest and happiest societies: the degree of equality among their members. Further, more unequal societies are bad for everyone within them-the rich and middle class as well as the poor.

The remarkable data assembled in The Spirit Level exposes stark differences, not only among the nations of the first world but even within America's fifty states. Almost every modern social problem-poor health, violence, lack of community life, teen pregnancy, mental illness-is more likely to occur in a less-equal society.

Renowned researchers Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett lay bare the contradictions between material success and social failure in the developed world. But they do not merely tell us what's wrong. They offer a way toward a new political outlook, shifting from self-interested consumerism to a friendlier, more sustainable society.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781608190362
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
12/22/2009
Pages:
330
Product dimensions:
6.46(w) x 9.58(h) x 1.26(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword Robert B. Reich ix

Preface xiii

Acknowledgements xvii

Note on Graphs xix

Part 1 Material Success, Social Failure

1 The end of an era 3

2 Poverty or inequality? 15

3 How inequality gets under the skin 31

Part 2 The Costs of Inequality

4 Community life and social relations 49

5 Mental health and drug use 63

6 Physical health and life expectancy 73

7 Obesity: wider income gaps, wider waists 89

8 Educational performance 103

9 Teenage births: recycling deprivation 119

10 Violence: gaining respect 129

11 Imprisonment and punishment 145

12 Social mobility: unequal opportunities 157

Part 3 A Better Society

13 Dysfunctional societies 173

14 Our social inheritance 197

15 Equality and sustainability 217

16 Building the future 235

Postscript - Research Meets Politics 273

The Equality Trust 299

Appendix 301

Sources of Data for the Indices of Health and Social Problems 306

Statistics 310

References 312

Index 343

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Spirit Level 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
EGHunter01 More than 1 year ago
A favorable review: insightful, informative, and educational. Quote from page 5: ".the truth is that both the broken society and the broken economy resulted from the growth of inequality." - taken from, The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger by Richard Wilkinson & Kate Pickett (2009). Here is part of a quote on page 18: ".modern societies are, despite their affluence, social failures." *This book encourages readers to ponder many of our societies "social ills." *Some of its focuses are on changing levels of mental illness {including drug & alcohol addiction}, life expectancy & infant mortality, obesity, teenage pregnancy & birth rates, homicides and imprisonment rates. *This book also encourages the reader to work toward viable solutions to change inequality in the individual societies and the global society. Here is a quote to consider from page 26: "The services are all expensive, and none of them is more than partially effective." *Some of the message of this book is: ".a country wants higher average levels of educational achievement among its school children, it must address the underlying inequality," and this is a similar message to Michelle Alexander's message in the book, New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness about the inequality of the criminal justice system. ***Inequality breeds mistrust. *This book and the one by Michelle Alexander are worth reading to be enlightened on these topics and consider viable solutions to improve our society and the world, and to consider how to tackle inequality.
Bill922 More than 1 year ago
Highly recommended for anyone who cares about humankind, and where our country and world are headed.
Mybookreview More than 1 year ago
Wilkinson and Pickett have pulled together a large body of research showing that income inequality is the foundation of a wide range of health and social problems. This is probably the number 1 factor that, if addressed, would create the equitable kind of world most of us want to live in. Income inequality is the issue that most needs to be solved. The authors display the information in easy to understand charts and describe the information in easily understandable, only mildy technical language. The solutions the authors propose are not as easy to understand nor to see how they might be implemented. I highly recommend this book.
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