Synopses & Reviews
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.
"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 [listening]." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Review
Renowned researchers Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett offer groundbreaking analysis showing that greater economic equality—not greater wealth—is the mark of the most successful societies, and offer new ways to achieve it.
About the Author
Richard Wilkinson is a professor emeritus of social epidemiology at the University of Nottingham Medical School, a visiting professor at the University of York, and an honorary professor at University College London. He has played a formative role in international research on inequality, and his work has been published in ten languages. He is also the author of Unhealthy Societies: The Afflictions of Inequality and The Impact of Inequality: How to Make Sick Societies Healthier. Kate Pickett is a professor of epidemiology in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York and a National Institute for Health Research career scientist. She studied physical anthropology at Cambridge, nutritional sciences at Cornell, and epidemiology at Berkeley, and spent four years as an assistant professor at the University of Chicago. Kate is also a cofounder of the Equality Trust, an organization dedicated to campaigning for greater social equality. Clive Chafer is a professional actor, director, and producer, as well as a theater instructor. Originally from England, he has been an Equity member for over twenty years and has performed and directed at many theaters in the San Francisco area, where he makes his home, and in Utah and Wisconsin. In 1993, he founded TheatreFIRST, Oakland's only professional, season-producing theater company, where he served as artistic director until 2008. Clive received his B.A. from Leeds University and his M.F.A. in staging Shakespeare from Exeter University in 2000. He teaches classical dramatic literature and other subjects at the University of San Francisco. He is also a linguist and naming consultant, and has developed several high-profile brands for companies such as Apple Computer, Subaru, and PayPal.