Book Review: The Spirit Level

The Spirit Level: Why Equality Is Better For Everyone

Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett

Why are affluent countries, despite all their achievements, considered broken? This question is at the heart of this persuasive book which uses wide-ranging academic research to come to a simple conclusion – that the level of inequality in society is directly related to many social ills, such as crime, violence and poor health.

Comparing levels of social well-being across the globe, the authors find that what is key to the general health of a society is the distribution of wealth within it.

More unequal ones, such as the UK and US, have greater social problems, with all that means for social cohesion, government spending and general happiness, than relatively equal ones, such as Japan or Norway.

An engaging call to reduce the gap between rich and poor - for everyone’s sake. ????