Taking the inequality debate to the next level

Posted on 20 June 2018

How do you follow up one of the most successful books "The Spirit Level?"

When Richard Wilkinson, Kate Pickett’s intellectual soulmate, suggested they write a follow-up to their massively successful book on the links between inequality and social ills, the University of York Research Champion for Justice and Equality was less than enthusiastic. “I really didn’t want to do it,” said Kate, just as their follow-up work hits the book shelves.

It wasn’t just that the authors of The Spirit Level, which has sold more than 250,000 copies in English and been translated into 24 other languages, had been subjected to a series of vitriolic attacks from a range of right-wing, free-market think tanks. They expected as much.

What concerned Kate was that their first book had been so successful in putting inequality at the heart of the debate on issues spanning obesity, teen pregnancies, violent crime, drug abuse and life expectancy, that a sequel seemed a daunting prospect. But as they developed a deeper understanding of the psychological and emotional effects of inequality there seemed little choice but to write The Inner Level.

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