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Synopsis

Comparing the United States with other market democracies and one state with another, this book offers irrefutable evidence that unequal societies create poor health, more social conflict, and more violence. Richard Wilkinson, a pioneering social scientist, addresses the growing feeling-so common in the United States-that modern societies, despite their material success, are social failures. The Impact of Inequality explains why inequality has such devastating effects on the quality and length of our lives.

Wilkinson shows that inequality leads to stress, stress creates sickness on the individual and mass level, and overall society suffers widespread unhappiness and high levels of violence, depression, and mistrust across the social spectrum. The evidence he presents is incontrovertible: social and political equality are essential to improve life for everyone. Wilkinson argues that even small reductions in inequality can make an important difference-for, as this book explains, social relations are always built on material foundations.

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