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Publisher's Summary

The poor die sooner. Blacks die sooner. And poor urban blacks die sooner than almost all other Americans. David Ansell has spent nearly four decades as a doctor at hospitals serving some of the poorest communities in Chicago, and 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 35-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 that is really to blame.

The Death Gap outlines a vision that will provide the foundation for a healthier nation - for all.

©2017 David A. Ansell (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"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." (Beryl Satter, author of Family Properties )

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Data-driven explanation for structural inequality

To understand healthcare, read this. Excellent, unbiased, unparalleled, critical information with context from 3 vastly different Chicago hospitals - that should be used to inform all healthcare policy and legislation. Book's narrator must not be Chicago native, mispronounced some words including local places: Tuskegee (experiment), Stroger (hospital), antibiotics and Roseland (community). Tone didn't always match message.

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Good topic

I enjoyed the topic, but the narrator detracted from the book, in my opinion. I would recommend it for the topic alone, though.