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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2009 Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett (P)2011 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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An Important Book

What made the experience of listening to The Spirit Level the most enjoyable?

The Spirit Level is one of those rare examples of social science being science. There are centuries of theoretical discussions about how best to allocate wealth, but this book actually provides data. The authors do their best to keep it entertaining, but it is occasionally demanding on the reader. Downloading the pdf file is a must to understanding the book. I hope the Spirit Level is read by every policy maker in the world.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating subject matter, difficult narration

This book is one of the most significant works in the field of social inequality, and I would strongly recommend it for anybody who asks themselves "what's wrong with our world today?" The information herein has been fundamental to my work in the field of social change.

It is a bit of a thick topic, and the contribution of a droning narrator makes it unnecessarily difficult to absorb. While Chafer's narration wasn't bad, I would call it inappropriate. I get an image of him as a tired British college professor trying to explain something complicated to those who he doesn't expect will understand the subject matter. Starting around chapter 14, it became a chore to continue listening.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Changed my worldview.

The author makes a robust case for equality as a virtue that every modern society should pursue. The claims are backed with comprehensive data and presented clearly. I entered with a skeptical view of the authors basic premise. This book changed how I see society and I am better for it.

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This book explains America's bad mood

I was on a quest to find someone to explain today’s America to me…and, finally, "The Spirit Level" did. In graph after graph, the book lay out the stats--how growing income inequality in a society sends it down the drain. It blew my mind.

For me, this book is a turning point. Now, I know the bottom line. Now, I can turn my attention to what to do about it. This is a hugely important book--I strongly recommend it. Easy reading, graphs are as clear as day. They're available as a pdf from the publisher, Tantor. Mind blowing what's been happening to our country!




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A very important subject

I recommend this book to anyone who would like the world to be a better place and would like ideas about how to make it so.

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Breathtakingly insightful and compelling work

I feel like this book singlehandedly rewired my perception of key aspects of modern civilization. In addition to handing me a powerful new lens through which to examine the roots of social problems, I think The Spirit Level can practically serve as a type of self-help manual for seeing how not to fall into the miserable traps inequality sets for us as individuals. This book was seriously brilliant. Should be considered a must-read - ack - I mean listen - for anybody who's curious about how human societies work.

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Equality

Spirited and emphatic case for basing decisions on equality toward a shared and cooperative economy because it would be healthy and sustain the planet

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Loved it, wish it had a better title.

This book contains interesting and important research related to health care, social issues and politics.