Ten Thousand Years of Inequality

Author: Timothy A. Kohler
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
ISBN: 0816538360
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Is wealth inequality a universal feature of human societies, or did early peoples live an egalitarian existence? How did inequality develop before the modern era? Did inequalities in wealth increase as people settled into a way of life dominated by farming and herding? Why in general do such disparities increase, and how recent are the high levels of wealth inequality now experienced in many developed nations? How can archaeologists tell? Ten Thousand Years of Inequality addresses these and other questions by presenting the first set of consistent quantitative measurements of ancient wealth inequality. The authors are archaeologists who have adapted the Gini index, a statistical measure of wealth distribution often used by economists to measure contemporary inequality, and applied it to house-size distributions over time and around the world. Clear descriptions of methods and assumptions serve as a model for other archaeologists and historians who want to document past patterns of wealth disparity. The chapters cover a variety of ancient cases, including early hunter-gatherers, farmer villages, and agrarian states and empires. The final chapter synthesizes and compares the results. Among the new and notable outcomes, the authors report a systematic difference between higher levels of inequality in ancient Old World societies and lower levels in their New World counterparts. For the first time, archaeology allows humanity’s deep past to provide an account of the early manifestations of wealth inequality around the world. Contributors Nicholas Ames Alleen Betzenhauser Amy Bogaard Samuel Bowles Meredith S. Chesson Abhijit Dandekar Timothy J. Dennehy Robert D. Drennan Laura J. Ellyson Deniz Enverova Ronald K. Faulseit Gary M. Feinman Mattia Fochesato Thomas A. Foor Vishwas D. Gogte Timothy A. Kohler Ian Kuijt Chapurukha M. Kusimba Mary-Margaret Murphy Linda M. Nicholas Rahul C. Oka Matthew Pailes Christian E. Peterson Anna Marie Prentiss Michael E. Smith Elizabeth C. Stone Amy Styring Jade Whitlam

Foragers Farmers and Fossil Fuels

Author: Ian Morris
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400865514
Format: PDF
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Most people in the world today think democracy and gender equality are good, and that violence and wealth inequality are bad. But most people who lived during the 10,000 years before the nineteenth century thought just the opposite. Drawing on archaeology, anthropology, biology, and history, Ian Morris explains why. Fundamental long-term changes in values, Morris argues, are driven by the most basic force of all: energy. Humans have found three main ways to get the energy they need—from foraging, farming, and fossil fuels. Each energy source sets strict limits on what kinds of societies can succeed, and each kind of society rewards specific values. But if our fossil-fuel world favors democratic, open societies, the ongoing revolution in energy capture means that our most cherished values are very likely to turn out not to be useful any more. Foragers, Farmers, and Fossil Fuels offers a compelling new argument about the evolution of human values, one that has far-reaching implications for how we understand the past—and for what might happen next. Originating as the Tanner Lectures delivered at Princeton University, the book includes challenging responses by classicist Richard Seaford, historian of China Jonathan Spence, philosopher Christine Korsgaard, and novelist Margaret Atwood.

The Great Leveler

Author: Walter Scheidel
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691184313
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Are mass violence and catastrophes the only forces that can seriously decrease economic inequality? To judge by thousands of years of history, the answer is yes. Tracing the global history of inequality from the Stone Age to today, Walter Scheidel shows that it never dies peacefully. The Great Leveler is the first book to chart the crucial role of violent shocks in reducing inequality over the full sweep of human history around the world. The “Four Horsemen” of leveling—mass-mobilization warfare, transformative revolutions, state collapse, and catastrophic plagues—have repeatedly destroyed the fortunes of the rich. Today, the violence that reduced inequality in the past seems to have diminished, and that is a good thing. But it casts serious doubt on the prospects for a more equal future. An essential contribution to the debate about inequality, The Great Leveler provides important new insights about why inequality is so persistent—and why it is unlikely to decline anytime soon.

The Creation of Inequality

Author: Kent Flannery
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674064976
Format: PDF, ePub
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Flannery and Marcus demonstrate that the rise of inequality was not simply the result of population increase, food surplus, or the accumulation of valuables but resulted from conscious manipulation of the unique social logic that lies at the core of every human group. Reversing the social logic can reverse inequality, they argue, without violence.

Inequality

Author: Michele Alacevich
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 0815727623
Format: PDF
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Inequality endangers the fabric of our societies, distorts the functioning of democracy, and derails the globalization process. Yet, it has only recently been recognized as a problem worth examining. Why has this issue been neglected for so long? In Inequality: A Short History, Michele Alacevich and Anna Soci discuss the emergence of the inequality question in the twentieth century and explain how it is related to current issues such as globalization and the survival of democracy. The authors also discuss trends and the future of inequality. Inequality is a pressing issue that not only affects living standards, but is also inextricably linked to the way our democracies work.

Global Inequality

Author: Branko Milanovic
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674969766
Format: PDF, Docs
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Branko Milanovic presents a bold account of the dynamics that drive inequality on a global scale. Using vast data sets, he explains the forces that make inequality rise and fall within and among nations over time. He reveals who has been helped by globalization, who has been hurt, andwhat policies might tilt the balance toward economic justice.

A Thousand Years of Good Prayers

Author: Yiyun Li
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9780307430519
Format: PDF, ePub
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Brilliant and original, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers introduces a remarkable new writer whose breathtaking stories are set in China and among Chinese Americans in the United States. In this rich, astonishing collection, Yiyun Li illuminates how mythology, politics, history, and culture intersect with personality to create fate. From the bustling heart of Beijing, to a fast-food restaurant in Chicago, to the barren expanse of Inner Mongolia, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers reveals worlds both foreign and familiar, with heartbreaking honesty and in beautiful prose. “Immortality,” winner of The Paris Review’s Plimpton Prize for new writers, tells the story of a young man who bears a striking resemblance to a dictator and so finds a calling to immortality. In “The Princess of Nebraska,” a man and a woman who were both in love with a young actor in China meet again in America and try to reconcile the lost love with their new lives. “After a Life” illuminates the vagaries of marriage, parenthood, and gender, unfolding the story of a couple who keep a daughter hidden from the world. And in “A Thousand Years of Good Prayers,” in which a man visits America for the first time to see his recently divorced daughter, only to discover that all is not as it seems, Li boldly explores the effects of communism on language, faith, and an entire people, underlining transformation in its many meanings and incarnations. These and other daring stories form a mesmerizing tapestry of revelatory fiction by an unforgettable writer. From the Hardcover edition.

Near a Thousand Tables

Author: Felipe Fernandez-Armesto
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0743234154
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In Near a Thousand Tables, acclaimed food historian Felipe Fernández-Armesto tells the fascinating story of food as cultural as well as culinary history -- a window on the history of mankind. In this "appetizingly provocative" (Los Angeles Times) book, he guides readers through the eight great revolutions in the world history of food: the origins of cooking, which set humankind on a course apart from other species; the ritualization of eating, which brought magic and meaning into people's relationship with what they ate; the inception of herding and the invention of agriculture, perhaps the two greatest revolutions of all; the rise of inequality, which led to the development of haute cuisine; the long-range trade in food which, practically alone, broke down cultural barriers; the ecological exchanges, which revolutionized the global distribution of plants and livestock; and, finally, the industrialization and globalization of mass-produced food. From prehistoric snail "herding" to Roman banquets to Big Macs to genetically modified tomatoes, Near a Thousand Tables is a full-course meal of extraordinary narrative, brilliant insight, and fascinating explorations that will satisfy the hungriest of readers.

Greed and Good

Author: Sam Pizzigati
Publisher: The Apex Press
ISBN:
Format: PDF, Docs
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Should we care that wealth in the United States is unequally distributed - and getting more so every year? Should we worry that America's most wealthy, in just a generation, have more than doubled their share of the nation's wealth? Our nation's highest leaders certainly don't think so. They either ignore, or dismiss, the huge gaps in income and wealth that divide us. But these gaps, author Sam Pizzigati shows in his compelling new book, are undermining nearly every aspect of our lives, from our health to our happiness, from our professions to our pastimes, from our arts to our Earth. Greed and Good both reveals the horrific price we pay for tolerating inequality and dissects the case for greed, the old saws that apologists for inequality regularly trot out to justify the mammoth concentrations of wealth that tower all around us. These concentrations, Greed and Good argues, can and must be cut down to democratic size. And Greed and Good, in clear-headed and fascinating prose, even shows how.

The Crisis of the Middle Class Constitution

Author: Ganesh Sitaraman
Publisher: Knopf
ISBN: 0451493915
Format: PDF, Mobi
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"Argues that America's strong and sizable middle class is actually embedded in the framework of the nation's government and its founding document and discusses the necessity of taking equality-establishing measures,"--NoveList.