This groundbreaking book examines the nature and implications of social inequality in a new and illuminating way. The author examines key measures of social inequality and indicators of poverty across six selected nations - three Anglo-American countries (the US, UK, and Canada), and threeNordic nations (Finland, Norway, and Sweden). Professor Olsen's research shows that while inequality is an inherent and pervasive aspect of capitalism, and while the past few decades have seen sharp rises in inequality across the industrialized world, nonetheless substantial variances betweencountries continue to exist. In those countries like the US that have most zealously embraced neoliberalism, inequality and poverty have been exacerbated to a much greater degree than is the case in the Nordic lands, which still rank among the most egalitarian of countries. This cross-nationalvariation challenges many prominent classical and contemporary theoretical accounts of inequality, and suggests that high levels of social inequality are neither necessary nor inevitable in advanced capitalist societies. They are, rather, the product of constellations of power and the interactionsof social forces.