Penguin Book


The Spirit Level

Kate Pickett, Richard Wilkinson

It is common knowledge that in rich societies the poor have shorter lives and suffer more from almost every social problem. Large inequalities of income are likewise often regarded as divisive and corrosive. This groundbreaking book, based on thirty years' research, goes an important stage beyond either of these ideas: it demonstrates that more unequal societies are bad for almost everyone within them - the well-off as well as 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 the conditions of different societies. The differences revealed, even between rich market democracies, are striking. The Spirit Level goes to the heart of the apparent contrast between the material success and social failings of many modern societies, but it does not simply provide a key to diagnosing our ills. It tells us how to shift the balance from self-interested 'consumerism' to a friendlier and more collaborative society.

Richard Wilkinson is Professor Emeritus at the University of Nottingham Medical School and Honorary Professor at University College London. Kate Pickett is a Senior Lecturer at the University of York and a National Institute for Health Research Career Scientist.

Division
Penguin
Publication date
05/03/2009
Category
  • Sociology
Format TPS
216 x 135mm
Illustrations
Integrated cartoons
Extent
352
US
Bloomsbury Publishing
Translation
Penguin
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Penguin
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Penguin
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