BoM August 2017

Our Book of the Month for August is a classic and strongly recommended by the Equality Trust.

The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better¬†was published in 2009.¬†Written by Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson, the book highlights the “pernicious effects that inequality has on societies: eroding trust, increasing anxiety and illness, (and) encouraging excessive consumption”. It shows 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 significantly worse in more unequal rich countries.

As of September 2012, the book had sold more than 150,000 copies in English. It is available in 23 foreign editions.

A collection of Powerpoint slides regarding The Spirit Level can be downloaded here.

For a small contribution, the data underpinning the findings in The Spirit Level can be obtained from here.

The actual book is available here.


  1. Allen Bell -

    The ideas and data from the book are challenged and discussed in some detail here
    It includes further information from the authors which didn’t make it into the original book.

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