From Pathology to Politics: Public Health in America

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Why the almost daily announcements of new public health threats and proclamations of impending crises? Bennett and DiLorenzo begin by examining the public health bureaucracy, its preoccupation with expanding governmental programs, and its concern with political issues that too often have little to do with improving public health. Then they trace the evolution of the American public health movement from its founding after the Civil War to the 1950s. They describe the transformation of public health's focus from the eradication of disease to social policy as a by-product of the 1960s. Bennett and DiLorenzo include case studies of the politicization of the public health movement in America. The authors reveal methods of statistical manipulation that certain public health researchers use to achieve politically correct results. A final chapter discusses the implications of the transformation of public health from pathology to politics.This vigorously argued analysis sees the public health movement as claiming expertise on virtually every social issue, from poverty to human rights. Students of public policy and public health officials, along with readers interested in public health issues, will find this absorbing reading.