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The great leveler : violence and the history of inequality from the Stone Age to the twenty-first century / Walter Scheidel.

By: Scheidel, Walter, 1966- [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookSeries: Princeton economic history of the Western world: Publisher: Princeton, New Jersey : Princeton University Press, [2017]Copyright date: ©2017Description: xvii, 504 pages : illustrations, charts ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780691165028 (hardcover).Other title: Violence and the history of Inequality from the Stone Age to the twenty-first century | Violence and the history of inequality from the Stone Age to the 21st century.Subject(s): Krieg | Equality -- History | Violence -- History | HISTORY / World | BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economic History | HISTORY / Social History | Equality | ViolenceGenre/Form: History.DDC classification: 305.512 SCH
Contents:
Introduction : The challenge of inequality -- Part I. A brief history of inequality : The rise of inequality -- Empires of inequality -- Up and down -- Part II. War : Total war -- The great compression -- Preindustrial warfare and civil war -- Part III. Revolution : Communism -- Before Lenin -- Part IV. Collapse : State failure and systems collapse -- Part V. Plague : The black death -- Pandemics, famine, and war -- Part VI. Alternatives : Reform, recession, and representation -- Economic development and education -- What If?: From history to counterfactuals -- Part VII. Inequality redux and the future of leveling : In our time -- What does the future hold? -- Appendix : The limits of inequality.
Summary: "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 inequality never dies peacefully. Inequality declines when carnage and disaster strike and increases when peace and stability return. 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. Ever since humans began to farm, herd livestock, and pass on their assets to future generations, economic inequality has been a defining feature of civilization. Over thousands of years, only violent events have significantly lessened inequality. The "Four Horsemen" of leveling--mass-mobilization warfare, transformative revolutions, state collapse, and catastrophic plagues--have repeatedly destroyed the fortunes of the rich. Scheidel identifies and examines these processes, from the crises of the earliest civilizations to the cataclysmic world wars and communist revolutions of the twentieth century. 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." -- Publisher's description
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Book Book Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bangalore
305.512 SCH 012012 (Browse shelf) Available 012012

Includes bibliographical references (pages 457-493) and index.

Introduction : The challenge of inequality -- Part I. A brief history of inequality : The rise of inequality -- Empires of inequality -- Up and down -- Part II. War : Total war -- The great compression -- Preindustrial warfare and civil war -- Part III. Revolution : Communism -- Before Lenin -- Part IV. Collapse : State failure and systems collapse -- Part V. Plague : The black death -- Pandemics, famine, and war -- Part VI. Alternatives : Reform, recession, and representation -- Economic development and education -- What If?: From history to counterfactuals -- Part VII. Inequality redux and the future of leveling : In our time -- What does the future hold? -- Appendix : The limits of inequality.

"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 inequality never dies peacefully. Inequality declines when carnage and disaster strike and increases when peace and stability return. 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. Ever since humans began to farm, herd livestock, and pass on their assets to future generations, economic inequality has been a defining feature of civilization. Over thousands of years, only violent events have significantly lessened inequality. The "Four Horsemen" of leveling--mass-mobilization warfare, transformative revolutions, state collapse, and catastrophic plagues--have repeatedly destroyed the fortunes of the rich. Scheidel identifies and examines these processes, from the crises of the earliest civilizations to the cataclysmic world wars and communist revolutions of the twentieth century. 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." -- Publisher's description

Text in English.

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