Watizkin s book offers an insightful, research-based, political expose via a compelling historical depiction of the invariable link between medicine (in the form of health and health services delivery) and empire, Journal of Anthropological Research
"Health-care reform is a lively and contentious topic, but, as Waitzkin shows in this informative study, our debates on reform are too narrowly framed. His thoughtful analysis raises important questions about conventional assumptions of doctrine and practice and scrutinizes alternatives, among them notably the record of social medicine in Latin America." --Noam Chomsky, MIT
Influenced by Latin American ides of social medicine that link health outcomes to social conditions, Waitzkin (U. of New Mexico) analyzes historical and current patterns of medicine and public health in the Americas within the broader social context of capitalism and American imperialism. He first considers broad historical theme, including the role of the international health organizations in strengthening the empire, the development of the international market for health products and services, and the impact of resistance to empire on public health and health services in Chile and Cuba. Turning to more recent issues, he explores the impact of neoliberal policies on public health and medicine, relationships between macroeconomic policies and health, efforts to export the for-profit managed care model of the United States to other countries, the role of international financial institutions in pushing for privatization of health services, the ideologies of the different stakeholders involved in struggles over global trade and public health, and the impact of war on the health of military personnel. Finally, he presents various social medicine initiatives in Latin America as examples to follow as the empire wanes. --Eithne O Leyne, June 2011 Reference and Research Book News
"For the past three decades Howard Waitkzkin has been (along with Vicente Navarro) the leading social medicine theorist in the United States. Medicine and Public Health at the End of Empire provides a superb sampling of Waitzkin's wide-ranging work, and a readily accessible introduction." --Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein in Monthly Review
About the Author
Howard Waitzkin is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Sociology and the School of Medicine at the University of New Mexico. He also practices medicine as a primary care practitioner in rural northern New Mexico. His work focuses on social conditions that lead to illness, unnecessary suffering, and early death.