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The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills | [David Stuckler, Sanjay Basu]

The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills

In The Body Economic, Stuckler and Basu mine data from around the globe and throughout history to show how government policy becomes a matter of life and death during financial crises. In a series of historical case studies stretching from 1930s America, to Russia and Indonesia in the 1990s, to present-day Greece, Britain, Spain, and the U.S., Stuckler and Basu reveal that governmental mismanagement of financial strife has resulted in a grim array of human tragedies.
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Publisher's Summary

Politicians have talked endlessly about the seismic economic and social impacts of the recent financial crisis, but many continue to ignore its disastrous effects on human health - and have even exacerbated them, by adopting harsh austerity measures and cutting key social programs at a time when constituents need them most. The result, as pioneering public health experts David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu reveal in this provocative audiobook, is that many countries have turned their recessions into veritable epidemics, ruining or extinguishing thousands of lives in a misguided attempt to balance budgets and shore up financial markets. Yet, sound alternative policies could instead help improve economies and protect public health at the same time.

In The Body Economic, Stuckler and Basu mine data from around the globe and throughout history to show how government policy becomes a matter of life and death during financial crises. In a series of historical case studies stretching from 1930s America, to Russia and Indonesia in the 1990s, to present-day Greece, Britain, Spain, and the U.S., Stuckler and Basu reveal that governmental mismanagement of financial strife has resulted in a grim array of human tragedies, from suicides to HIV infections. Yet, people can and do stay healthy, and even get healthier, during downturns. During the Great Depression, U.S. deaths actually plummeted, and today Iceland, Norway, and Japan are happier and healthier than ever, proof that public wellbeing need not be sacrificed for fiscal health.

Full of shocking and counterintuitive revelations and bold policy recommendations, The Body Economic offers an alternative to austerity - one that will prevent widespread suffering, both now and in the future.

©2013 David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu (P)2013 AudioGo

What the Critics Say

"A dramatic study emphasizing some of the combined consequences of ideological obsessions and bureaucratic thoughtlessness." (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Kevin 07-03-14
    Kevin 07-03-14 Member Since 2014

    Trying to support 1) the comparably smaller non-fiction selection and 2) the few here that are not misinformation. Got mind? Use it.

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    "Powerful & Relevant facts on Austerity & Health..."
    Where does The Body Economic rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The topic of how economic ideologies affect healthcare policies, and how that in turn affects you, me, our families and friends... well, it's an essential topic indeed.


    What other book might you compare The Body Economic to and why?

    Plenty of gems like this one to broaden one's understanding of Economics and how it actually works in the real world. It is critical to realize how much of establishment Economics is more ideology than actual science! Austerity is clearly a mechanism to funnel money to the top, no one can argue the atrocious short-term consequences and this book demonstrates the long-term consequences are not rosy either.

    Other related non-fiction gems:
    "Capital in the Twenty-First Century"
    "A Fighting Chance" (Elizabeth Warren's memoir, easy read)
    "Retirement Heist" (technical but very informative)

    I've heard impressive reviews for the following:
    "Wall Street: A History" (Geisst)
    "Predator Nation"
    "All the Presidents' Bankers"
    "The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires"
    "Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism"
    "The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use 'Plain English' to Rob You Blind"


    Have you listened to any of Tim Andres Pabon’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Perfect narration: clear and easy-to-follow-along pace.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Asides overarching facts, this book provided personal cases to make the reader/listener realize that there are faces, lives, and loved ones behind each statistic.


    Any additional comments?

    The writers of this have their hearts in the right place, but keep in mind their background (healthcare policies) restricts them to frame questions in that arena... which does offer new perspectives, but clearly this topic needs to also be explored in the economic arena more deeply. There are many "but why?" moments to economic events that the story encounters but cannot address.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Capitola, CA, United States 05-22-13
    James Capitola, CA, United States 05-22-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Should be Required Reading"

    Stuckler and Basu hit it out of the park with this work! The book provided me with a terrific explanation of stimulus vs. austerity economics, and examples of how these different approaches have affected citizens in different countries. This book should be a required read for every US Senate and House member, and all US voters. A+

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Mrs
    BOSTON, United Kingdom
    6/20/13
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    "Compulsory Read"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Body Economic to be better than the print version?

    This was an easy book to listen too... maybe, easier than to read.


    What about Tim Andres Pabon’s performance did you like?

    Excellent.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I had a very strong emotional reaction to this book, felt it should be made a compulsory 'read' or 'listen to' in regards to the current political policies that are being experienced by us the ordinary people, in other words the consequences of the austerity experiment here in UK and around the world. Extremely thought provoking book.


    Any additional comments?

    I was also unable to stop listening to this audio book the information relayed although statistical at times was really gripping. Cannot recommend it enough...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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