Peter A. SwensonJan 12, 2022
A History of Reform, Reaction, and Money in American Medicine
Yale University Press 2021
Tracing the dramatic conflicts both inside organized medicine and between the medical profession and the larger society over quality, equality, and economy in health care, Peter A. Swenson illuminates the history of American medical politics from the late nineteenth century to the present. Disorder: A History of Reform, Reaction, and Money in American Medicine (Yale UP, 2021) chronicles the role of medical reformers in the progressive movement around the beginning of the twentieth century and the American Medical Association’s dramatic turn to conservatism later. Addressing topics such as public health, medical education, pharmaceutical regulation, and health-care access, Swenson paints a disturbing picture of the entanglements of medicine, politics, and profit seeking that explain why the United States remains the only economically advanced democracy without universal health care. Swenson does, however, see a potentially brighter future as a vanguard of physicians push once again for progressive reforms and the adoption of inclusive, effective, and affordable practices.
Stephen Pimpare is director of the Public Service & Nonprofit Leadership program and Faculty Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire.