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Last updated:  3 July 2001

Be careful about reading health books,
you might die of a misprint (Mark Twain)

"There is a crisis of identity in public health. To ensure conditions in which people can be healthy we must work to change the underlying societal conditions. Public health has rarely been able to go beyond pointing at these larger issues, such as poverty, economic globalisation, and lack of political will." (Jonathan Mann 1997)

These are some of the books I recommend when studying public health. Some of the titles don't seem to have much to do with the subject, but you'll find out that this assessment ain't valid. Public Health is about the health of the public, not the individual. And it is certainly not about the medicine of the individual, as far as I understand the subject. I know that's a pretty different concept from many of my colleagues', but aren't we learning all the time a bit more about the complexity of the world?

A section on Indigenous health is available here.

I will add more books in the near future, when I find the time to check the vast catalogue of But for the time being, this selection provides you with enough reading materials for the next two days :-))

Enjoy the surf.

Adorno, T.W. (1974), Minima moralia. Reflections from damaged life. First published in German 1951. London (NLB)

Airhihenbuwa, C.O. (1995), Health and culture. Beyond the Western paradigm. Thousand Oaks, California (Sage)

Alinsky, S.D. (1969), Reveille for radicals. New York (Vintage)

Alinsky, S.D. (1971), Rules for radicals. A pragmatic primer for realistic radicals. New York (Vintage)

Annandale, E. (1998), The sociology of health and medicine. A critical introduction. Cambridge (Polity Press)

Badinter, E. (1997), XY. On masculine identity. New York (Columbia University Press)

Barnet, R.J. & Cavanagh, J. (1994), Global dreams. Imperial corporations and the New World Order. New York (Touchstone)

Baumann, Z. (2001), The individualized society. Cambridge (Polity Press)

Beaglehole, R. & Bonita, R. (1997), Public health at the crossroads. Achievements and prospects. Cambridge (Cambridge University Press)

Beck, U. (1992), Risk society. Towards a new modernity. London (Sage)

Beck, U. (2000), What is globalization? Cambridge (Polity Press)

Berne, E. (1973), The structure and dynamics of organizations and groups. New York (Ballantine Books)

Berger, P.L. & Luckmann, T. (1967), The social construction of reality. A treatise in the sociology of knowledge. Harmondsworth (Penguin)

Blane, D., Wilkinson, R.G. & Brunner, E. (eds.) (1996), Health and social organization. Towards a health policy for the twentieth-first century. London/New York (Routledge)

Blaxter, M. (1990), Health and lifestyles. London/New York (Routledge)

Bourdieu, P. (1984), Distinction. A social critique of the judgement of taste. Cambridge, Mass. (Harvard University Press)

Bourdieu, P. & Wacquant, L.J.D. (1992), An invitation to reflexive sociology. Cambridge (Polity Press)

Bracht, N. (ed.) (1990), Health promotion at the community level. Newbury Park (Sage)

Brandt, A.M. & Rozin, P. (eds.) (1997), Morality and health. London/New York (Routledge)

Bronfenbrenner U. (1979), The ecology of human development. Experiments by nature and design. Cambridge, Mass. (Harvard University Press)

Bryner, G.C. (1987), Bureaucratic discretion. Law and policy in federal regulatory agencies. New York (Pergamon Press)

Buchanan, D.R. (2000), An ethic for health promotion. Rethinking the sources of human well-being. London/New York (Oxford University Press)

Bunton, R. & Macdonald, G. (eds.) (1992), Health promotion. Disciplines and diversity. London/New York (Routledge)

Bunton, R., Nettleton, S. & Burrows, R. (eds.) (1995), The sociology of health promotion. Critical analyses of consumption, lifestyle and risk. London/New York (Routledge)

Burns, L.S. (1993), Busy bodies. Why our time-obsessed society keeps us running in place. New York (W.W. Norton)

Bywaters, P. & McLeod, E. (eds.) (1996), Working for equality in health. New York/London (Routledge)

Carson, R. (1994), Silent spring. With an introduction by Vice President Al Gore. Boston/New York (Houghton Mifflin)

Castells, M. (1983), The city and the grassroots. London (Edward Arnold)

Chesworth, J. (ed.) (1996), The ecology of health. Identifying issues and alternatives. Thousand Oaks, California (Sage)

Clark, J. (1991), Democratizing development. The role of voluntary organizations. London (Earthscan Publications)

Corbett, D. (1992), Australian public sector management. St. Leonards, NSW (Allen & Unwin)

Daly, H.E. & Cobb Jr., J.B. (1994), For the common good. Redirecting the economy toward community, the environment, and a sustainable future. Second edition, updated and expanded. Boston (Beacon Press)

Dickens, P. (1992), Society and nature. Towards a green social theory. Philadelphia (Temple University Press)

Douglas, M. (1986), How institutions think. Syracuse (Syracuse University Press)

Douglas, M. (1986), Risk acceptability according to the social sciences. London (Routledge & Kegan Paul)

Douglas, M. (1994), Risk and blame: Essays in cultural theory. London/New York (Routledge)

Douglas, M. and Wildavsky, A. (1982), Risk and culture. An essay on the selection of technological and environmental dangers. Berkeley (University of California Press)

Downie, R.S., Fyfe, C. & Tannahill, A. (1990), Health promotion. Models and values. Oxford (Oxford University Press)

Eder, K. (1993), The new politics of class. Social movements and cultural dynamics in advanced societies. London (Sage)

Egger, G., Spark, R. & Lawson, J. (1990), Health promotion strategies & methods. Sydney (McGraw-Hill)

Escobar, A. (1995), Encountering development. The making and unmaking of the Third World. Princeton, N.J. (Princeton University Press)

Evans, R.G., Barer, M.L. & Marmor, T.R. (eds.) (1994), Why are some people healthy and others not? The determinants of health of populations. Berlin (Aldine/de Gruyter)

Falk, P. (1994), The consuming body. London (Sage)

Foucault, M. (1988), Madness and civilization. A history of insanity in the age of reason. New York (Vintage)

Foucault, M. (1990), The history of sexuality. Volume 1: An introduction. London (Penguin)

Foucault, M. (1992), The use of pleasure. The history of sexuality, Volume 2. London (Penguin)

Foucault, M. (1990), The care of the self. The history of sexuality, Volume 3. London (Penguin)

Foucault, M. (1994a), The order of things. An archaeology of the human sciences. New York (Vintage)

Foucault, M. (1994b), The birth of the clinic. An archaeology of medical perception. New York (Vintage)

French, M. (1992), The war against women. London (Hamish Hamilton)

Freund, P.E.S. & McGuire, M.B. (1995), Health, Illness, and the Social Body: A Critical Sociology. Englewood Cliffs, N.J. (Prentice Hall)

Fromm, E. (1981), To have or to be? New York (Bantam Books)

Giddens, A. (1991), Modernity and self-identity. Self and society in the late modern age. Cambridge (Polity)

Giddens, A. (1993), Sociology. Second edition. Cambridge (Polity Press)

Gil, D.G. (1992), Unravelling social policy. Theory, analysis, and political action towards social equality. (Fifth edition, revised and enlarged.) Rochester, Vermont (Schenkman Books)

Glanz, K., Lewis, F. & Rimer, B. (eds.) (1990), Health behavior and health education: Theory, research and practice. San Francisco (Jossey-Bass)

Glendon, M.A. (1991), Rights talk. The impoverishment of political discourse. New York (The Free Press)

Goffman, E. (1961), Asylums : Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients and Other Inmates. New York (Anchor Books)

Goffman, E. (1982), Interaction Ritual: Essays on Face to Face Behavior. New York (Pantheon Books)

Goffman, E. (1985), Behavior in Public Places: Notes on the Social Organization of Gatherings. New York (The Free Press)

Goffman, E. (1986), Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience. Boston (Northeastern University Press)

Green, L.W. & Kreuter, M.W. (1991), Health promotion planning: An educational and environmental approach. Mountain View (Mayfield)

Greider, W. (1992), Who will tell the people? The betrayal of American democracy. New York (Simon & Schuster)

Guijt, I. & Kaul Shah, M. (eds.) (1998), The myth of community. Gender issues in participatory development. London (Intermediate Technology Publications)

Habermas, J. (1985), The Theory of Communicative Action: Reason and the Rationalization of Society (The Theory of Communicative Action, Vol. 1). Boston (Beacon Press)

Habermas, J. (1985), The Theory of Communicative Action: Lifeworld and System: A Critique of Functionalist Reason (Vol. 2). Boston (Beacon Press)

Habermas, J. (1988), On the logic of the social sciences. Cambridge (Polity Press)

Hanson, F.A. (1993), Testing testing. Social consequences of the examined life. Berkeley (University of California Press)

Hardey, M. (1998), The social context of health. Buckingham/Philadelphia (Open University Press)

Harper, A.C., Holman, C. D'Arcy J. & Dawes, V.P. (1994), The health of populations. An introduction. Melbourne (Churchill Livingstone)

Hippocrates (1978), Hippocratic writings. Edited with an introduction by G.E.R. Lloyd. Harmondsworth (Penguin)

Hogwood, B.W. & Gunn, L.A. (1984), Policy analysis for the real world. New York (Oxford University Press)

Holgate, S.T., Samet, J.M., Koren, H.S. & Maynard, R.L. (eds) (1999), Air pollution and health. San Diego etc. (Academic Press)

Hutton, W. & Giddens, A. (2000) (eds), Global capitalism. New York (New Press)

Huxley, A. (1977), The doors of perception. London (Triad Grafton)

Jackson, P. (1989), Maps of meaning. An introduction to cultural geography. London (Unwin Hyman)

Kar, S.B. (ed.) (1989), Health promotion indicators and action. New York (Springer Publishing Company)

Kawachi, I., Kennedy, B.P. & Wilkinson, R.G. (eds.) (1999), The society and population health reader. Income inequality and health. New York (The New Press)

Kimbrell, A. (1993), The human body shop. The engineering and marketing of life. New York (HarperCollins)

Kling, J.M. & Posner, P.S. (eds.) (1990), Dilemmas of activism: Class, community, and the politics of mobilization. Philadelphia (Temple University Press)

Kluger, R. (1997), Ashes to ashes. America's hundred-year cigarette war, the public health, and the unabashed triumph of Philip Morris. New York (Vintage Books)

Knippers Black, J. (1991), Development in theory and practice. Bridging the gap. Boulder/San Francisco/Oxford (Westview Press)

Koblinsky, M., Timyan, J. & Gay, J. (eds.) (1993), The health of women. A global perspective. Boulder, Co. (Westview Press)

Koivusalo, M. & Ollila, E. (1997), Making a healthy world: Agencies, actors, and policies in international health. London/New York (Zed Books)

Korten, D.C. (1990), Getting to the 21st century. Voluntary action and the global agenda. West Hartford, CT (Kumarian Press)

Korten, D.C. (1999), The post-corporate world. Life after capitalism. West Hartford, CT (Kumarian Press)

Kotler, P. & Roberto, E.L. (1989), Social marketing. Strategies for changing public behavior. New York (The Free Press)

Krimsky, S. and Golding, D. (1993), Social theories of risk. New York (Praeger)

Landy, M.K., Roberts, M.J. & Thomas, S.R. (1994), The Environmental Protection Agency. Asking the wrong questions. New York (Oxford University Press, 2nd edition)

Leckie, S. (1992), From housing needs to housing rights: An analysis of the right to adequate housing under international Human Rights Law. London (International Institute for Environment and Development)

Leichter, H.M. (1991), Free to be foolish. Politics and health promotion in the United States and Great Britain. Princeton, N.J. (Princeton University Press)

Leopold, A. (1970), A Sand County Almanac. New York (Ballantine Books)

Lindesmith, A.R., Strauss, A.L. and Denzin, N.K. (1977), Social psychology. New York (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, fifth edition)

Lyon, D. (2001), Surveillance society. Monitoring everyday life. Buckingham/Philadelphia (Open University Press)

MacDonald, T.H. (1998), Rethinking health promotion. A global approach. London/New York (Routledge)

Madeley, J. (1999), Big business, poor peoples. The impact of transnational corporations on the world's poor. London/New York (Zed Books)

Mander, J. & Goldsmith, E. (eds) (1996), The case against the global economy and for a turn toward the local. San Francisco (Sierra Club Books)

Mann, J.M., Gruskin, S., Grodin, M.A. & Annas, G.J. (eds) (1999), Health and human rights. London/New York (Routledge)

Manoff, R.K. (1985), Social marketing. New imperative for public health. New York (Praeger)

Maren, M. (1997), The road to hell. The ravaging effects of foreign aid and international charity. New York (The Free Press)

Markandya, A. & Richardson, J. (eds.) (1992), The Earthscan reader in environmental economics. London (Earthscan Publications)

Martin, E. (1992), The woman in the body. A cultural analysis of reproduction. Boston (Beacon Press)

Martin, H.-P. & Schumann, H. (1997), The global trap. Globalization and the assault on democracy and prosperity. London/New York (Zed Books)

May, L., Collins-Chobanian, S. & Wong, K. (eds.) (1998), Applied ethics. A multicultural approach. Second edition. Upper Saddle River, N.J. (Prentice-Hall)

McKibben, B. (1990), The end of nature. New York (Anchor)

Millstein, S.G., Petersen, A.C. & Nightingale, E.O. (eds.) (1994), Promoting the health of adolescents. New directions for the twenty-first century. New York (Oxford University Press)

Minkler, M. (ed.) (1997), Community organizing and community building for health. New Brunswick (Rutgers University Press)

Nader, L. (ed.) (1996), Naked science. Anthropological inquiry into boundaries, power, and knowledge. New York/London (Routledge)

Nast, H.J. & Pile, S. (eds.) (1998), Places through the body. London/New York (Routledge)

Nooteboom, C. (1992), Rituals. A novel. New York (Penguin Books)

Perrow, C. (1984), Normal accidents. Living with high-risk technologies. New York (Basic Books)

Petersen, A. & Lupton, D. (1996), The new public health. Health and self in the age of risk. St. Leonards, NSW (Allen & Unwin)

Pirsig, R.M. (1991), Lila. An inquiry into morals. New York (Bantam Books)

Raffensperger, C. & Tickner, J. (eds.) (1999), Protecting Public Health and the Environment. Implementing the Precautionary Principle. Washington, D.C. (Island Press)

Ralston Saul, J. (1993), Voltaire's bastards. The dictatorship of reason in the West. Harmondsworth (Penguin)

Ratzan, S.C. (ed.) (1998), The Mad Cow Crisis. Health and the public good. New York (New York University Press)

Reagan, M. (1987), Regulation. The politics of policy. New York (Little, Brown)

Rifkin, J. (1989), Time wars. The primary conflict in human history. New York (Simon & Schuster)

Rifkin, J. (1996), The end of work. The decline of the global labor force and the dawn of the post-market era. New York (G.P. Putnam's Sons)

Rimmer, P.J. (ed.) (1997), Pacific Rim development. Integration and globalisation in the Asia-Pacific economy. St. Leonards, NSW (Allen & Unwin)

Ritzer, G.(1996), The McDonaldization of society. An investigation into the changing character of contemporary social life. Revised edition. Thousands Oaks, California (Pine Forge Press)

Rogers, M.B. (1990), Cold anger. A story of faith and power politics. Denton, TX (University of North Texas Press)

Rose, G. (1992), The strategy of preventive medicine. Oxford (Oxford University Press)

Rosen, G. (1993), A history of public health. Baltimore (Johns Hopkins University Press)

Schatzki, T.R. & Natter, W. (eds.) (1996), The Social and Political Body (Multidisciplinary Studies in Social Theory). Guilford Press

Seedhouse, D. (1998), Ethics. The heart of health care. Chichester etc. (John Wiley & Sons)

Seedhouse, D. (1997), Health promotion. Philosophy, prejudice and practice. Chichester etc. (John Wiley & Sons)

Shilling, C. (1993), The Body and Social Theory. London (Sage)

Skelton, T. & Valentine, G. (eds.) (1998), Cool places. Geographies of youth cultures. London/New York (Routledge)

Smith, C. & Ward, G.K. (2000), Indigenous cultures in an interconnected world. St. Leonards, NSW (Allen & Unwin)

Steingraber, S. (1997), Living Downstream : An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment. Reading, Mass. (Addison-Wesley)

Stillwaggon, E. (1998), Stunted lives, stagnant economies. Poverty, disease, and underdevelopment. New Brunswick (Rutgers University Press)

Sullum, J. (1998), For your own good. The anti-smoking crusade and the tyranny of public health. New York (The Free Press)

Synnott, A. (1993), The Body Social: Symbolism, Self and Society. London/New York (Routledge)

Sztompka, P. (1993), The sociology of social change. Oxford (Blackwell)

Taylor, R.L. (1990), Health fact, health fiction. Getting through the media maze. Dallas, TX (Taylor Publishing Company)

Thornton, J. (2000), Pandora's poison. Chlorine, health, and a new environmental strategy. Cambridge, Mass. (MIT Press)

Turner, B.S. (1984), The body and society. Explorations in social theory. Oxford (Blackwell)

Turshen, M. (1996), The politics of public health. (Originally published in 1989.) London (Zed Books)

Waterstone, M. (ed.) (1992), Risk and society. The interaction of science, technology and public policy. Dordrecht (Kluwer)

Weber, M. (1964), The theory of social and economic organization. Edited with an introduction by Talcott Parsons. New York (The Free Press)

Weber, M. (1958), The protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism. New York (Charles Scribner's Sons)

Weitz, R. (ed.) (1998), The politics of women's bodies: Sexuality, appearance and behavior. Oxford (Oxford University Press)

Wilkinson, R.G.(1996), Unhealthy societies. The afflictions of inequality. London/New York (Routledge)

Yong Kim, J., Millen, J.V., Irwin, A. & Gershman, J. (eds.) (2000), Dying for growth. Global inequality and the health of the poor. Monroe, ME (Common Courage Press)

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