Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Review: The Sprit Level

The spirit level is a book that has summoned up a storm around it, both Ed Milliband and David Cameron are supposed supporters of the book and as it says on the cover: ‘A big idea, big enough to change political thinking’ – Sunday times . The book puts pressure for new economic policy and publicises the rising area of economics that is standard of living and inequality.
The book gets straight to the point, it believes that inequality is the most important problem facing society. It is easy to read, informative and despite the heavy topic matter and criticism it has a positive feel to it, quite witty. For an economist it is a dream, there is a graph on nearly every other page! This displays the information in the book quickly and really helps break up the book. There are cartoon sketch inserted quick frequently which add to the humour while reinforcing the arguments in the book.
I can not stress how easy it is to read, easy to dip in and out off, few areas of long spiralling text and if you feel like skimming over a section it does no effect the read of the book.
However the first 150+ pages of the book start to become a bit receptive, it goes through every social problem systematically and proves each on is linked to inequality, while fascinating at first you start thinking: ‘ok.. I get the point’ However it does well at presenting the arguments without being forceful and I found myself taking on board many of the points raised by the book. If part 2 (page 49 to 176) becomes a bit repetitive it is more than made up for by part 3.
The final section of the book is fascinating, it incorporates lots of economics but also delves into psychology, sociology and politics. While part 1 and 2 criticises the present system and identifies problems, the book is well rounded part 3 offers solutions and deals with counter arguments!
The arguments used to reinforce the book deal with society and many of them serve as useful trivia (such as making us think twice about the idea cave men were violent and strongest was king and how different ape relatives have very different societies).
Read this book
That is my recommendation, its intriguing and pleasant to read. I’d say it was open to anyone, GCSE to degree and economics or any subject.

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