Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America's Heartland

Category: Book
By (author): Metzl, Jonathan M.
Subject:  MEDICAL / Public Health
  NON-FICTION / General
  POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Social Policy
  SOCIAL SCIENCE / Discrimination & Race Relations
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: Basic Books
Published: March 2019
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 352
Size: 9.55in x 6.40in x 1.25in
Our Price:
$ 42.00
Availability:
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*A physician reveals how right-wing backlash policies have mortal consequences -- even for the white voters they promise to help

Named one of the most anticipated books of 2019 by Esquire and the Boston Globe

In the era of Donald Trump, many lower- and middle-class white Americans are drawn to politicians who pledge to make their lives great again. But as Dying of Whiteness shows, the policies that result actually place white Americans at ever-greater risk of sickness and death.

Physician Jonathan M. Metzl's quest to understand the health implications of "backlash governance" leads him across America's heartland. Interviewing a range of everyday Americans, he examines how racial resentment has fueled progun laws in Missouri, resistance to the Affordable Care Act in Tennessee, and cuts to schools and social services in Kansas. And he shows these policies' costs: increasing deaths by gun suicide, falling life expectancies, and rising dropout rates. White Americans, Metzl argues, must reject the racial hierarchies that promise to aid them but in fact lead our nation to demise.
Review Quote*"Provocative... brings a unique blend of psychiatric insight and data analysis -- as well as some nifty philosophical insights into what people mean by concepts of risk, cost, and community -- to a problem that will no doubt persist even beyond our current presidency."-Boston Globe
Review Quote*"Traveling through the American heartland, a physician deconstructs how right-wing policies have fatal consequences, even for the voters they purport to help. Metzl paints a blistering portrait of a subculture so in thrall to racist ideology that they willingly invite raising gun suicides, poor healthcare, and falling life expectancies."-Esquire
Review Quote*"Groundbreaking.... Metzl methodically and adeptly marshals statistical evidence that policies promising to bolster white Americans' status have instead made life 'sicker, harder, and shorter' for all."-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Review Quote*"Remarkable...Through field interviews, research and public-health data, Metzl shows that whites are harming themselves along with everyone else, and in drastic ways...A weighty but smooth read, devoid of polemics or jargon."-Minneapolis Star Tribune
Review Quote*"A provocative, instructive contribution to the literature of public health as well as of contemporary politics."-Kirkus Reviews
Review Quote*"Here is the diagnosis, America, and it's not reassuring: failing health, falling graduation rates, guns everywhere. Our fantasies are driving us to an early grave, and Jonathan M. Metzl is lucid and careful and mercifully clinical in telling us exactly how this public health disaster came to be. Read it today: there's still time before the autopsy."-Thomas Frank, author of What's the Matter With Kansas? and Listen, Liberal
Review Quote*"Dying of Whiteness unveils how the very policies marketed to white people as 'making America great again' end up harming the well-being of whites as a demographic group. This is must reading for anyone interested in understanding the current racial landscape of the United States."-Jelani Cobb, Ira A. Lipman Professor of Journalism, Columbia Journalism School
Review Quote*"Copious data have long shown us the deadly effects of racist health policies on African Americans. But in Dying of Whiteness, Jonathan M. Metzl powerfully shows us this coin's reverse: the deadly effects on white populations of contemporary policies promulgated by vengeful politicians to 'restore' an imaginary white superiority, and embraced by resentful, marginalized whites. Dying of Whiteness illuminates the dual devastation wrought by policies that limit access to care for the poor of every race."-Harriet A. Washington, author of Medical Apartheid
Review Quote*"In his pathbreaking and provocative book, Jonathan M. Metzl draws on his dual acuity as physician and social scientist to help make sense of the urgent issue of our time: how individuals not only act against their self-interests, but also support policies that contribute to their own early demise. A threadbare social safety net, further unraveled by virulent racism, has given way to an ailing body politic. Empathetic and poignant, this vital work exposes how an investment in whiteness works to the deficit of us all."-Alondra Nelson, Columbia University and Social Science Research Council