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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Arden Handler, DrPH (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Description: This book provides a review of public health practice in the United States, describing the functions of public health, its basic tools, and the interventions it uses to address health problems.
Purpose: It aims to provide a basic introduction to public health, particularly for those who are unfamiliar with public health's objectives, practice, and impact.
Audience: The book is written for undergraduate students in the health sciences, for some graduate students in public health and health policy or administration, and for public health practitioners who want a brief primer to re-familiarize themselves with public health principles and concepts.
Features: The book is clearly divided into three sections: the history, development, and organization of public health; basic concepts and analytic tools in public health; and public health interventions and applications. Each section has a nice overview which serves to link the three sections of the book. The glossary and list of acronyms are particularly helpful.
Assessment: Although the book attempts to provide a brief and relatively simple description of public health (a worthy objective), this is a difficult undertaking. The authors often hit the mark, but sometimes their presentation is so superficial as to leave the reader without a basic understanding or possibly with misconceptions. The book needs to be used in conjunction with other introductory texts on public health.