All Health Politics is Local: Community Battles for Medical Care and Environmental Health is officially on sale now wherever books and ebooks are sold.
Health is political. It entails fierce battles over the allocation of resources, arguments over the imposition of regulations, and the mediation of dueling public sentiments—all conflicts that are often narrated from a national, top-down view. In All Health Politics Is Local, Merlin Chowkwanyun shifts our focus, taking us to four very different places—New York City, Los Angeles, Cleveland, and Central Appalachia—to experience a national story through a regional lens. He shows how racial uprisings in the 1960s catalyzed the creation of new medical infrastructure for those long denied it, what local authorities did to curb air pollution so toxic that it made residents choke and cry, how community health activists and bureaucrats fought over who’d control facilities long run by insular elites, and what a national coal boom did to community ecology and health.
All Health Politics Is Local shatters the notion of a single national health agenda. Health is and has always been political, shaped both by formal policy at the highest levels and by grassroots community battles far below.
Merlin Chowkwanyun is Donald H. Gemson Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. You can follow him on Twitter @merlinc2.