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The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better (2009)

by Richard G. Wilkinson(Favorite Author)
4.09 of 5 Votes: 4
1846140390 (ISBN13: 9781846140396)
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review 1: It's not a well-written book, let's get that out of the way. It's powerful in its argument that humans basically aren't happy living in unequal societies and situations within them. Which makes a lot of sense, if you think about the history of the human race mostly living in hunter-gatherer bands for the majority of the time we've been homo sapiens. It was choppy to read, but well worth reading because of how important its topic of equality and what it says about solutions at the end. Just putting people more in power and control of their lives in the marketplace and the workplace seems like something that's achievable on sort of a chip away, little bit at a time level.
review 2: good ideas, poor execution. the constant use of graphs with the same (unexplained)
... more fuzzy axes indicated either a lack of the authors' understanding of statistics, or the assumption that readers would have no understanding. the authors actually state at one point that they did no data cleansing, and used the raw data "as-is", as if they saw this to be a good thing (any statistician or scientist worth their name will tell you that all data requires cleansing before analysis!) Still, there are some very intriguing thoughts here, including the weight of evidence showing that equal societies are healthier-by all standards-and for all citizens-not just the poorest. the conclusion lets it down again,with a rose-tinted assumption that everything is made better by employee ownership of companies. while this would probably help, I was far from convinced that this would be the silver bullet as proposed by the authors. overall, great food for thought, but feel far short of life-changing. less
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If you're short of time you could just look at the graphs - they tell the story.
Read a few chapters of for an essay - must find to read properly.
In a sentence: the most influential and important book I've read
Recommended by Reese from Washington
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