[UCP Books]: The Death Gap: How Inequality Kills by David A. Ansell, MD

“Drawn from Ansell’s gripping first-person experiences as a leading practitioner operating in Chicago’s medical safety net, The Death Gap provides powerful patient anecdotes that provide a human face to otherwise abstract challenges.”
Harold Pollack, University of Chicago



The Death Gap
How Inequality Kills
David A. Ansell, MD

US Publication: May 1, 2017 / International Publication: June 2, 2017
Cloth / $26.00 / £19.50


The greatest health crisis today is not cancer, not heart disease, obesity, or diabetes. It’s something much more common and far less often mentioned: poverty. Without question, 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 the lives behind these devastating statistics firsthand. In The Death Gap, he gives a grim survey of these realities, drawn from observations and stories of his patients.

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. 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. The Death Gap 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.


David A. Ansell, MD, is the senior vice president and associate provost for community health equity, as well as the Michael E. Kelly Professor of Medicine, at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. He is the author of County: Life, Death, and Politics at Chicago’s Public Hospital. He is available for interviews. Please contact Levi Stahl at (773) 702-0289 or levi@uchicago.edu


Please contact Ashley Pierce at (773) 702-0279 or apierce@uchicago.edu for more information.


Looking for a book published by a scholarly press?
Search our repository of 42,000 academic and university press titles to see if we can point you to the book you need. Read More