If we are to increase social mobility, redress economic inequality and create a balanced and fair distribution of wealth and opportunity, we need to understand the roots of the problems. Three recent books by members of the LSE’s new International Inequalities Institute aim to do this. Mike Savage is the author of Social Class in the 21st Century, looking at the way new class divides have opened up in the UK, with his work generating the Class Calculator that became a viral phenomenon in 2013. John Hills is the author of Good Times, Bad Times: The Welfare Myth of Them and Us, which uses vignettes of families and how they are affected by inequality, the welfare state and austerity over their lives alongside results of large-scale data analysis. Laura Bear specialises in the anthropology of the economy, and is the author of Navigating Austerity, which tells the story of how austerity policies resulting from seemingly technocratic accounting decisions have dramatically changed the lives of those living and working on the Hooghly River in India. The authors discuss parallels between their findings, and exchange thoughts on how inequality can be challenged by public debate and policy.