Recommended Reading – Books

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Download the list

Building on occasional Book Club Blog entries, I’ve been asked for a health policy reading list.

These are books that changed how I think as a health policy analyst. They inspired me, opened my mind, connected dots for me, taught me hard and soft skills, and told stories I didn’t know, even about Connecticut Medicaid. 

I had no idea how to prioritize, so I didn’t. They are in chronological order.

Culling this list was hard. While the list is long, there’s a lot more great books that didn’t make the cut. Start anywhere.

Making Numbers Count: The Art and Science of Communicating Numbers, Chip Health & Karla Starr, 2022

The Premonition: A Pandemic Story, Michael Lewis, 2021

Change: How to Make Big Things Happen, Damon Centola, 2021

You Have More Influence Than You Think, Vanessa Bohns, 2021

Which Country Has the World’s Best Health Care?, Ezekiel Emanuel, 2020

The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind, Jonah Berger, 2020

The Trillion Dollar Revolution: How the Affordable Care Act Transformed Politics, Law, and Health Care in America, Edited by Ezekiel J. Emanuel and Abbe Gluck, 2020

Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen, Dan Heath, 2020

Counting: How We Use Numbers to Decide What Matters, Deborah Stone, 2020

Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism, Anne Case and Angus Deaton, 2020

What the Eyes Don’t See, Mona Hanna-Attisha, 2018

The American Health Care Paradox: Why Spending More is Getting Us Less, Elizabeth Bradley, 2013

The Treatment Trap, Rosemary Gibson, 2011

No Pity: People with Disabilities Forging a New Civil Rights Movement, Joseph P. Shapiro, 1994

Bedlam: An Intimate Journey Into America’s Mental Health Crisis, Kenneth Paul Rosenberg, 2019

The Health Care Handbook: A Clear and Concise Guide to the United States Health Care System, Elisabeth Askin and Nathan Moore, 2024

The is the textbook I use in my health policy class. Excellent overview.

Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us, Daniel Pink, 2009

Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present, Harriett A. Washington, 2007

This is hard book to read. You will have to put it away often and come back to it.

Healthy Voices, Unhealthy Silence: Advocacy and Health Policy for the Poor, Coleen Grogan and Michael Gusmano, 2007

The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic – and How it Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World, Steven Johnson, 2007