We have a range of interviews about books covering various aspects of human inequality—sexual, racial and social. A number of our interviews related specifically to the United States. Michele Lamont, professor of sociology at Harvard University discusses the sociology of inequality. And Kenneth W. Mack, professor of law at Harvard discusses egalitarianism in the United States and the practice of exclusion at the heart of US politics. Anthropologist Ruth Gomberg-Munoz considers the US’s undocumented workers and the mutual dependence between slums and ‘urban glamour zones’. British lawyer, Shami Chakrabarti, addresses human rights and looks at the relationship between Harry Potter and the War on Terror.
On a more international level, we have Amnesty International’s Steve Crawshaw looking at the history of human rights issues from the Belgian Congo to Iran. Nicola Jones considers gender equality in the developing world and Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, climate justice. Architect and writer, John Calame, talks about the origins and consequences of partitioned cities such as Jerusalem, Belfast, Mostar and Nicosia.
Elsewhere Zainab Salbi, the founder and CEO of Women for Women International talks about the need to champion women’s rights in the 21st century, Kurt Barling, broadcaster and professor of journalism explains why the concept of ‘race’ is misleading and inaccurate and the writer on child development, Sue Palmer, looks at toxic masculinity.
All our books recommendations relating to economic and income inequality can be found in our economics section.
“If we come to understand the human value and dignity of people from different backgrounds, we can do a bit to deflect inequality in our everyday interactions,” says Harvard Professor and winner of the 2017 Erasmus Prize Michèle Lamont. Here, she recommends five books that illuminate the sociology of inequality.
The Race between Education and Technology
by Claudia Goldin and Lawrence F Katz
Top Incomes in the Long Run of History
by Emmanuel Saez, Thomas Piketty & Tony Atkinson
Why Nations Fail
by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
by Larry M Bartels
by Simon Johnson & Simon Johnson and James Kwak
The US, the UK and many other countries around the globe have become far less equal over the past 30 years. It’s important we understand how and why this happened, and what it means for our societies, says Daron Acemoglu, a professor of economics at MIT. He recommends the best books to get a better understanding of inequality.
Civic Ideals: Conflicting Visions of Citizenship in U.S. History
by Rogers M. Smith
At America's Gates: Chinese Immigration during the Exclusion Era, 1882-1943
by Erika Lee
Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America
by Mae M. Ngai
Lift Every Voice: The NAACP and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement
by Patricia Sullivan
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
by Michelle Alexander
World Bank economist and author of The Haves and the Have-Nots: A Short and Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequality discusses global economic inequality and says internal issues of inequality breed aggressive foreign policy