Comrades in Health: U.S. Health Internationalists, Abroad and at Home

Overview

Since the early twentieth century, politically engaged and socially committed U.S. health professionals have worked in solidarity with progressive movements around the world. Often with roots in social medicine, political activism, and international socialism, these doctors, nurses, and other health workers became comrades who joined forces with people struggling for social justice, equity, and the right to health.

Anne-Emanuelle Birn and Theodore M. Brown bring together a group...

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Comrades in Health: U.S. Health Internationalists, Abroad and at Home

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Overview

Since the early twentieth century, politically engaged and socially committed U.S. health professionals have worked in solidarity with progressive movements around the world. Often with roots in social medicine, political activism, and international socialism, these doctors, nurses, and other health workers became comrades who joined forces with people struggling for social justice, equity, and the right to health.

Anne-Emanuelle Birn and Theodore M. Brown bring together a group of professionals and activists whose lives have been dedicated to health internationalism. By presenting a combination of historical accounts and first-hand reflections, this collection of essays aims to draw attention to the longstanding international activities of the American health left and the lessons they brought home. The involvement of these progressive U.S. health professionals is presented against the background of foreign and domestic policy, social mvoements, and global politics.

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Editorial Reviews

David Himmelstein and Dr. Steffie Woolhandler
"This wonderful book offers a deeply reflective look at the motivations, ideology, and outcomes of this critical work, telling the stories of true heroes and heroines of American medicine and public health. It is must reading for anyone contemplating international health activism today."
co-author of Shattered Dreams? An Oral History of the South African AIDS Epidemi - Gerald M. Oppenheimer
"Comrades in Health is a pioneering effort, a major addition to the study of global public health and a new perspective on U.S. domestic health policy."
co-founders, Physicians for a National Health Program - Dr. David Himmelstein and Dr. Steffie Woolhandler
"This wonderful book offers a deeply reflective look at the motivations, ideology, and outcomes of this critical work, telling the stories of true heroes and heroines of American medicine and public health. It is must reading for anyone contemplating international health activism today."
cofounders, Physicians for a National Health Program - Dr. David Himmelstein and Dr. Steffie Woolhandler

"This wonderful book offers a deeply reflective look at the motivations, ideology, and outcomes of this critical work, telling the stories of true heroes and heroines of American medicine and public health. It is must reading for anyone contemplating international health activism today."
coauthor of Shattered Dreams? An Oral History of the South African AIDS Epidemic - Gerald M. Oppenheimer

"Comrades in Health is a pioneering effort, a major addition to the study of global public health, and a new perspective on U.S. domestic health policy."
host of Democracy Now! and 2008 winner Right Livelihood Award - Amy Goodman

"Everybody who cares about health and social justice, internationally and in the U.S., should read this book!"
Choice

"Birn and Brown describe the history of international efforts to improve the health of vulnerable populations as an inherently sociopolitical, leftist, and often communist, endeavor. [The editors] create a coherent picture of the development of international health efforts...and will be an interesting read for more advanced students of public health and political science. Recommended."
Global Public Health

"The most haunting lesson in this fine book stems from its call for an ethic of social consciousness in health care work. In this view, the struggle of justice for all is integral to the improvement of individual health outcomes, and it is as fraught with uncertainty and unintended consequences as is the treatment of individual illness. Birn, Brown and their colleagues update an old social medicine lesson that makes this struggle, with its risks, penuries and triumphs, a core professional duty instead of merely a morally praiseworthy individual pursuit."
Choice

"Birn and Brown describe the history of international efforts to improve the health of vulnerable populations as an inherently sociopolitical, leftist, and often communist, endeavor. [The editors] create a coherent picture of the development of international health efforts...and will be an interesting read for more advanced students of public health and political science. Recommended."
Nursing History Review

"a captivating journey through the political, economic, and social turmoil that embroiled global health care during the 20th century."
Lancet

"Perhaps the most interesting lesson in Comrades in Health is in showing how the very term socialised medicine came to be such an imagined existential threat to the US body politic."
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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of Figures Foreword Acknowledgments

Part I
1. Introduction: Health Comrades, Abroad and at Home
2. The Making of Health Internationalists

Part II
3. The Perils of Unconstrained Enthusiasm
4. American Medical Support for Spanish Democracy, 1936–1938
5. Medical McCarthyism and the Punishment of Internationalist Physicians in the United States

Part III
6. Contesting Racism and Innovating Community Health Centers
7. Barefoot in China, the Bronx, and Beyond
8. Medical Internationalism and the “Last Epidemic”

Part IV
9. Social Medicine, at Home and Abroad
10. Find the Best People and Support Them
11. Cooperantes, Solidarity, and the Fight for Health in Mozambique
12. From Harlem to Harare

Part V
13. Brigadistas and Revolutionaries
14. Health and Human Rights in Latin America, and Beyond
15. History, Theory, and Praxis in Pacific Islands Health
16. Doctors for Global Health
17. Doctors Across Blockades

Part VI
18. Across the Generations

Notes on Contributors Index

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