Book review: Understanding Inequality, Poverty and Wealth

Understanding Inequality, Poverty and Wealth

Review by Greer Nicholson


Edited by Tess Ridge and Sharon Wright, The Policy Press

ISBN Paperback 9781861349149;

Hardback 9781861349156

This book on inequality has unfortunately been overtaken by the events of the recession. It is a clear attempt to say several valuable things about being poor and rich, but it lacks subtlety and has far too much of the academic jargon of social exclusion.

It may make you just a little squeamish to have a page dedicated to comparing poor 12-year-old Bella with Philip Green, one of the richest men in Britain. Do these facts make us understand better how to fix inequality?.

The sections on health and disability, poverty and financial inequality in later life, and on state approaches to wealth, will be of great interest to those who haven’t studied for years.

But it isn’t clear that the rich will stay rich in the recession. Lessons about thrift and poverty might soon come to us all.

Greer Nicholson is commissioning manager for transport and concessionary travel at the London Borough of Newham

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