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The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World Book 74) by [Walter Scheidel]
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The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World Book 74) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 220 ratings

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Length: 537 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Sweeping and provocative." ---New Yorker --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

From the Back Cover

"If you think you've heard it all about economic inequality, think again. Walter Scheidel's analysis of what really reduces inequality is provocative, but he makes the case with reason, evidence, and style."--Steven Pinker, author of The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

"Brilliant, erudite, and chock-full of historical detail, The Great Leveler has a powerful message and asks a big question for the twenty-first century: Can we find a cure for inequality that isn't worse than the disease?"--Branko Milanovic, author of Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization

"This is the best book on the history of income inequality. And the central message is that most significant reductions in inequality come through violence and destruction. Have a nice day!"--Tyler Cowen, author of The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream

"This brilliant and thoroughly researched book solves a major paradox in the study of historical inequality. If we accept Thomas Piketty's rule that returns on capital are greater than the rate of economic growth, the 10,000 years of evolution since the Neolithic period should have resulted in all wealth becoming concentrated in the hands of a single individual or family. The Great Leveler explains why that didn't happen. A major breakthrough in our understanding of the historical dynamics of income and wealth inequality."--Peter Turchin, author of Ultrasociety: How 10,000 Years of War Made Humans the Greatest Cooperators on Earth

"Inequality and violence are fundamental features of human society. No one before Walter Scheidel has shown us just how closely they have been intertwined. This is a masterful new assessment of an age-old problem."--David Stasavage, coauthor of Taxing the Rich: A History of Fiscal Fairness in the United States and Europe

"The Great Leveler makes a convincing case."--Robert J. Gordon, author of The Rise and Fall of American Growth

"This superb, and superbly written, book justifies its profound but pessimistic conclusion that in world history inequality has declined significantly only as a result of violent changes caused by wars, state breakdown, or pandemics. It should have a huge impact on world historians and generate interesting and important debates about growing inequality in today's world."--David Christian, author of Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History

"Walter Scheidel offers a fascinating and powerful analysis of how worldwide income and wealth inequality have evolved from the Neolithic revolution to today. No other book on inequality has the temporal breadth or reach of Scheidel's book. And his interpretation is strikingly new."--Philip T. Hoffman, author of Why Did Europe Conquer the World?

--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • File Size : 5009 KB
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print Length : 537 pages
  • Publisher : Princeton University Press (January 9, 2017)
  • Publication Date : January 9, 2017
  • ASIN : B01M34NBLZ
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Enabled
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 220 ratings

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
220 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on March 20, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on March 13, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on March 11, 2017
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Top reviews from other countries

Mr. P. Briody
5.0 out of 5 stars Devastating realities uncovered.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 11, 2018
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DA
5.0 out of 5 stars Very impressive review
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 8, 2018
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Chris X
5.0 out of 5 stars In depth analysis
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 26, 2020
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marsha l. reid
4.0 out of 5 stars A very timely, sobering and throught provoking account on income inequality
Reviewed in Canada on April 23, 2017
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4 people found this helpful
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Vlad Thelad
4.0 out of 5 stars A price too high
Reviewed in Canada on September 25, 2018
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3 people found this helpful
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