The next meeting of Thetford’s informal nonfiction book discussion group will take place on Tuesday January 31st at 12 noon on Zoom.
We will be discussing The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett.
This groundbreaking book, based on thirty years’ research, demonstrates that more unequal societies are bad for almost everyone within them-the well-off and the poor. The remarkable data the book lays out and the measures it uses are like a spirit level which we can hold up to compare different societies. The differences revealed, even between rich market democracies, are striking. Almost every modern social and environmental problem-ill health, lack of community life, violence, drugs, obesity, mental illness, long working hours, big prison populations-is more likely to occur in a less equal society. The book goes to the heart of the apparent contrast between material success and social failure in many modern national societies.
The Spirit Level does not simply provide a diagnosis of our ills, but provides invaluable instruction in shifting the balance from self-interested consumerism to a friendlier, more collaborative society. It shows a way out of the social and environmental problems which beset us, and opens up a major new approach to improving the real quality of life, not just for the poor but for everyone. It is, in its conclusion, an optimistic book, which should revitalize politics and provide a new way of thinking about how we organize human communities.
The book may be obtained from your local library, via interlibrary loan, possibly as an audio or e-book via ListenUp Vermont or in New Hampshire, New Hampshire Downloadable Books. Users need only get a barcode number from their local library to use the services. Or you can obtain the book from your favorite local bookseller, or via www.bookfinder.com, the aggregator site for booksellers both large and small from all over the world, and for books both new and secondhand.
All are welcome and we look forward to seeing you.