County: Life, Death and Politics at Chicago's Public Hospital

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 41%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $4.49
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 85%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (26) from $4.49   
  • New (7) from $9.95   
  • Used (19) from $4.49   


The amazing tale of “County” is the story of one of America’s oldest and most unusual urban hospitals. From its inception as a “poor house” dispensing free medical care to indigents, Chicago’s Cook County Hospital has been renowned as a teaching hospital and the healthcare provider of last resort for the city’s uninsured. Ansell covers more than thirty years of its history, beginning in the late 1970s when the author began his internship, to the “Final Rounds” when the enormous iconic Victorian hospital building was replaced. Ansell writes of the hundreds of doctors who underwent rigorous training with him. He writes of politics, from contentious union strikes to battles against “patient dumping,” and public health, depicting the AIDS crisis and the Out of Printening of County’s HIV/AIDS clinic, the first in the city. And finally it is a coming-of-age story for a young doctor set against a backdrOut of Print of race, segregation, and poverty. This is a riveting account.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Ansell's dramatic account of the 17 years he spent at Chicago's 160-year-old public Cook County Hospital (now John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital), rising from intern to chief of the General Internal Medicine and Primary Care Division, presents chilling proof of the indignities, interminable lines, inexcusable delays, inferior facilities, and incomplete care received by uninsured, mostly African-American patients. At County ("a petri dish for vermin"), where clerks ruled the mostly open wards and unsupervised interns learned by trial and error on a "battlefield of medicine," he and his colleagues fought against party politics for funds to keep County open and establish pioneering services (e.g., breast cancer screening, HIV/AIDs care). With the nation's focus on a national health-care policy providing quality medical services to citizens regardless of race, ethnicity, and income level, Ansell's exposé will shock and motivate readers to take a stand on the issue. (July)
From the Publisher

"County is a landmark book, brave, angry and indispensable not least because Ansell declared... Obamacare was no breakthrough." — Chicago Tribune

"When it comes to the stories of his patients, many of whom he cared for over decades from clinic to hospital to funeral, Ansell soars." — New York Times

"With the nation's focus on a national health-care policy providing quality medical services to citizens regardless of race, ethnicity, and income level, Ansell's exposé will shock and motivate readers to take a stand on the issue." — Publishers Weekly

"Ansell skillfully humanizes questions of health-care policy by describing real-life scenarios... his gift for making the connections between social forces and medical care, coupled with the vivid patient stories interspersed with trenchant critiques of the politics of health care, makes this work stand out."
Library Journal

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780897336208
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/31/2011
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 524,230
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

DAVID A. ANSELL, M.D., MPH is the vice president of Clinical Affairs and chief medical officer at Rush University. He lives in Oak Park with his wife of thirty-six years, Dr. Paula Grabler, who also trained at Cook County Hospital. They have two grown children. During his scarce leisure time, he enjoys reading, exercising and gardening.
For more info on the author and event listings visit:
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 20, 2011

    Gripping, edgy, page burner about healthcare in the underbelly of America

    If you liked the show ER, you'll love this book. This is a one night read. I could not put it down. This book tells the story of a young doctor who goes to the legendary Cook County Hospital to train in the late 1970s. The hospital is a decrepit place, full of political patronage employees, short of supplies, and threatened for closure. It is fighting for it's life and the lives of the downtrodden patients, mostly Black and Mexican who have nowhere else to go. It speaks of battles and demonstrations, young doctors confronting patient dumping, AIDS and growing minions of uninsured. I received a pre- publication galley from a friend so the book is not officially out but when it comes, if you are interested in healthcare in America... Read this!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)