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The Anatomy of Inequality: Its Social and…

The Anatomy of Inequality: Its Social and Economic Origins- and Solutions

by Per Molander

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This book is a terrible tease. It leads readers toward a fascinating, in-depth analysis and discussion of human inequality. However, upon arriving at the entrance to the aforementioned in-depth adventure, the reader is instead whisked onto the It's A Small World version and zooms through an abbreviated (32 page) tour of inequality through the years. The rest of the work gives a surface-level investigation into different economic/social/political factors and religious/secular justifications for or against (in)equality in modern times.

There were many instances where statistical rationale for the author's statements were reliant more on face-value acceptance than anything else. For example, on page 175 the author states that "the correlation has been verified by a number of researchers using different methods and can be considered reliable." So, according to this, the reader is just supposed to take the author's word for it when it comes to statistics. As someone who is a student of statistics and is generally curious about the world, I find that this reasoning takes away from the scientific rigor otherwise present in sections of the book.

I feel that this work was mis-titled. THE ANATOMY OF INEQUALITY suggests that the author will approach the topic of "inequality" with the precision of a surgeon, opening up varied and diverse components for exploration. Unfortunately, not the case. Instead, the focus is primarily on a few socioeconomic components of inequality. There is very little social science or meta-analysis here. I believe that a more honest and representative title for this book would be THE ECONOMY OF INEQUALITY.

There's no doubt that Per Molander's book is fascinating, especially at a time when there is so much disparity between peoples living in the modern world. I was expecting a robust and comprehensive look at human inequality - past, present, and future. What I got was a brief, abbreviated look at primarily economic and class factors that impact how equal a society is. Perhaps it's because the book is 183 pages long (without notes and bibliography) - an incredibly short span for such a broad topic - that I feel misled and underwhelmed. It perhaps would be more useful as a way to dig deeper into aspects of inequality, rather than to be treated as a seminal work. ( )
  BooksForYears | Nov 4, 2016 |
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