Walter Scheidel - Violence as the great leveler

From Saturday Morning, 10:09 am on 8 April 2017

Walter Scheidel is the Dickason Professor in the Humanities, Professor of Classics and History, and a Kennedy-Grossman Fellow in Human Biology at Stanford University.

Walter Scheidel

Walter Scheidel Photo: supplied

The author or editor of sixteen previous books, he has published widely on premodern social and economic history, demography, and comparative history.

His latest work, The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality From the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century, suggests "only all-out thermonuclear war might fundamentally reset the existing distribution of resources", and that history has shown that peaceful policy reform alone will not cure growing inequality.

He cites the end of the Roman Empire and the Cuban revolution as just two examples.