Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet
S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University
of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.
After reading The Health of Nations: Why Inequality
Is Harmful to Your Health, you will hold these truths to be self-evident:
more than two centuries after the Declaration of Independence was penned,
social, economic, and political inequalities are (still) impeding "Life, Liberty,
and the pursuit of Happiness" from being inalienable rights.
In this empirically rich yet widely accessible volume, Harvard School
of Public Health professors Ichiro Kawachi and Bruce Kennedy build a convincing
case for why prosperous nations in which there are high levels of inequality,
most notably the United States, experience worse overall health than do countries
that are more egalitarian, such as Costa Rica, regardless of their level of
wealth. The authors bring together several decades of research and lively
debate in the fields of sociology, economics, and public health with clear
illustrations of how the continued existence of social inequalities imperils
basic values of progress and well-being.
Birn A. Health Systems. JAMA. 2003;289(15):1999. doi:10.1001/jama.289.15.1999