Monday, January 31, 2011

The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better

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The Spirit Level:  Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better
Authors:  Richard Wilkinson, Kate Pickett
Subject(s):  Socio-economics
Publisher:  Allen Lane
Publication date:  5 March 2009
ISBN:  978-0141032368

The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better is a book by Richard G. Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, published in 2009. This book is also published in the US by Bloomsbury Press (December, 2009) with new sub-title: "why greater equality makes societies stronger".  It was then published in a paperback second edition in the UK in February 2010 with the different sub-title, “Why Equality is Better for Everyone”, which included an Appendix of some of the statistical data which had previously only been available on the Equality Trust website.

The book claims that there are "pernicious effects that inequality has on societies: eroding trust, increasing anxiety and illness, (and) encouraging excessive consumption."
It claims that for each of eleven different health and social problems: physical health, mental health, drug abuse, education, imprisonment, obesity, social mobility, trust and community life, violence, teenage pregnancies, and child well-being, outcomes are substantially worse in more unequal rich countries. Statistics are given for 23 of the top 50 rich countries and also for 50 states of the United States of America. The book contains graphs and charts, also available online.

In 2010 the book was subject to a volley of criticism from a variety of sources. Wilkinson and Pickett released a response to questions about their analysis on the Equality Trust website.
As of August 2010 the book has sold 36,000 copies in the UK.

Click here for more information

Watch a Video about the Book

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