The Equality Trust and Happiness: Background information when reading The Spirit Level

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The Spirit Level

Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better

by Kate Pickett, Richard Wilkinson

The Spirit Level by Kate Pickett, Richard Wilkinson
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  • First Published:
    Dec 2009, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2011, 352 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Jo Perry

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
The Equality Trust and Happiness

Print Review

Authors Wilkinson and Pickett work to enact the ideas they put forward in The Spirit Level on their Equality Trust website and its campaign for economic equality. Visit this site for blog entries and updates on their work.

Watch a video of Wilkinson and Pickett talking about the ideas in The Spirit Level:

If money doesn't buy happiness, as Wilkinson and Pickett suggest, then what is happiness and how or where do we find it?

If you'd like to seek happiness, Forbes has an article on the happiest places on earth:

"Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands rated at the top of the list, ranking first, second and third, respectively. Outside Europe, New Zealand and Canada landed at Nos. 8 and 6, respectively. The U.S. did not crack the top 10. Switzerland placed seventh and Belgium placed tenth." Forbes cites family, social connection, national economic health, and employment rates as prime determinants of happiness - supporting in some ways the thesis of Wilkinson and Pickett.

Joshua Wolf Shenk's article in The Atlantic, "What Makes Us Happy," investigates George Vaillant's longitudinal study of happiness at Harvard through case-studies.

In 2011, Somerville, Massachusetts became the first city in the USA to track happiness when it added the question, "How happy do you feel right now?" to the city's census forms.

Article by Jo Perry

This article was originally published in February 2010, and has been updated for the April 2011 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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