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This ideological history of equality is an ambitious, erudite and well-written book. In eleven chronological chapters Darrin McMahon shows how societies as diverse as hunter-gatherers, Greeks and Romans, early and medieval Western Christians, French revolutionaries, and so on, and ultimately the partisans of identity politics, have thought of equality. (Not inequality, the term that has, as McMahon reminds us, become ubiquitous, but equality.) Not all chapters are equal though. In my opinion, the best are on the American and French revolutions, and the concluding chapter on US civil rights movements and today's politics of identity.