Cloth $26.00 ISBN: 9780226428154 Published April 2017 For sale in North America and the British Commonwealth only
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The Death Gap

How Inequality Kills

David A. Ansell, MD

The Death Gap

David A. Ansell, MD

240 pages | 23 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2017
Cloth $26.00 ISBN: 9780226428154 Published April 2017 For sale in North America and the British Commonwealth only
E-book $18.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226428291 Published April 2017 For sale in North America and the British Commonwealth only
We hear plenty about the widening income gap between the rich and the poor in America and about the expanding distance separating the haves and the have-nots. But when detailing the many things that the poor have not, we often overlook the most critical—their health. The poor die sooner. Blacks die sooner. And poor urban blacks die sooner than almost all other Americans. In nearly four decades as a doctor at hospitals serving some of the poorest communities in Chicago, David Ansell has witnessed firsthand the lives behind these devastating statistics. In The Death Gap, he gives a grim survey of these realities, drawn from observations and stories of his patients.

While the contrasts and disparities among Chicago’s communities are particularly stark, the death gap is truly a nationwide epidemic—as Ansell shows, there is a thirty-five-year difference in life expectancy between the healthiest and wealthiest and the poorest and sickest American neighborhoods. If you are poor, where you live in America can dictate when you die. It doesn’t need to be this way; such divisions are not inevitable. Ansell calls out the social and cultural arguments that have been raised as ways of explaining or excusing these gaps, and he lays bare the structural violence—the racism, economic exploitation, and discrimination—that is really to blame. Inequality is a disease, Ansell argues, and we need to treat and eradicate it as we would any major illness. To do so, he outlines a vision that will provide the foundation for a healthier nation—for all.

Inequality is all around us, and often the distance between high and low life expectancy can be a matter of just a few blocks. But geography need not be destiny, urges  Ansell. In The Death Gap he shows us how we can face this national health crisis head-on and take action against the circumstances that rob people of their dignity and their lives.
Review Quotes
Christian Century
"Compelling. . . . Without providing easy answers, he challenges readers to be aware of health disparities and to work toward equality."
 
Beryl Satter, author of Family Properties: How the Struggle over Race and Real Estate Transformed Chicago and Urban America
“Ansell does a magnificent job of uncovering the myriad ways in which structural racism — in housing, employment, education, and health care, for a start — creates unacceptable ‘death gaps’ or disparities in life expectancy that are preventable and therefore morally unacceptable.  This moving study delivers the harsh truth about the ways that racism infects our nation’s health care system, and it does so with passion and eloquence.  One comes away from Death Gap feeling inspired to act, and that’s a rare and wonderful accomplishment.”
Harold Pollack, University of Chicago
 “The Death Gap describes critical health inequalities in the United States, which are drawn from Ansell’s  gripping first-person experiences as a leading practitioner operating in Chicago’s medical safety net. He reveals the profound inequalities, particularly racial inequalities, that generate tremendous differences in lifespan and well-being across neighborhoods, and he provides powerful patient anecdotes that provide a human face to otherwise abstract challenges.”

 
 
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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