The Death Gap: How Inequality Kills by David A. Ansell, MdThe Death Gap: How Inequality Kills by David A. Ansell, Md

The Death Gap: How Inequality Kills

byDavid A. Ansell, Md

Hardcover | April 21, 2017

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We hear plenty about the widening income gap between the rich and the poor in America and about the expanding distance separating the haves and the have-nots. But when detailing the many things that the poor have not, we often overlook the most critical—their health. 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 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 thirty-five-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—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. To do so, he outlines a vision that will provide the foundation for a healthier nation—for all.

Inequality is all around us, and often the distance between high and low life expectancy can be a matter of just a few blocks. But geography need not be destiny, urges  Ansell. In The Death Gap he 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.
Title:The Death Gap: How Inequality KillsFormat:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:April 21, 2017Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022642815X

ISBN - 13:9780226428154

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Table of Contents

Preface: One Street, Two Worlds

Part 1: American Roulette

Chapter 1: American Roulette
Chapter 2: Structural Violence and the Death Gap
Chapter 3: Location, Location, Location
Chapter 4: Perception Is Reality
Chapter 5: The Three Bs: Beliefs, Behavior, Biology

Part 2: Trapped by Inequity

Chapter 6: Fire and Rain: Life and Death in Natural Disasters
Chapter 7: Mass Incarceration, Premature Death, and Community Health
Chapter 8: Immigration Status and Health Inequality: The Case of Transplant

Part 3: Health Care Inequality

Chapter 9: The US Health Care System: Separate and Unequal
Chapter 10: The Poison Pill: Health Insurance in America

Part 4: The Cure

Chapter 11: Community Efficacy and the Death Gap
Chapter 12: Community Activism against Structural Violence
Chapter 13: Observe, Judge, Act


Editorial Reviews

 “The Death Gap describes critical health inequalities in the United States, which are drawn from Ansell’s  gripping first-person experiences as a leading practitioner operating in Chicago’s medical safety net. He reveals the profound inequalities, particularly racial inequalities, that generate tremendous differences in lifespan and well-being across neighborhoods, and he provides powerful patient anecdotes that provide a human face to otherwise abstract challenges.”