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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Ross M. Mullner, PhD, MPH (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Description: This book reconceptualizes the field of public health. It presents a bold new public policy orientation to improve the health of the population of the United States, and to reduce the nation's health disparities. The book also discusses the initiatives taken by several other nations, particularly Canada, to redress social inequities.
Purpose: According to the editor: "The book introduces a framework for identifying, arraying, and evaluating the evidence regarding the fundamental social, economic, and ecological determinants of population health and health disparities; explores the role of related development policies in influencing these fundamental determinants; and suggests alternative models of more health-centered policy and program design incorporating a consideration of the fundamental determinants of health."
Audience: This book is written for graduate students in public health, public policy, medical sociology, and political science. The editor, Lu Ann Aday, is a nationally known, highly respected professor and scholar from the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston.
Features: The book consists of seven chapters. Each of the chapters is well crafted and flows nicely into the next with little overlap. A large name and subject index concludes the book.
Assessment: This is a very refreshing new look at public health. Unlike many textbooks in public health which basically repeat what has been said many times before, this book looks at public health from a new and original perspective. It is well organized, well written, and well researched. I highly recommend it!