COUNTY THE BOOK LIFE, DEATH AND POLITICS AT CHICAGO'S PUBLIC HOSPITAL

The Chicago Reader Spring Books Issue Reviews "COUNTY"

April 29, 2011



"In 1978, David Ansell and four fellow med-school grads loaded a U-Haul with their belongings and drove from Syracuse, New York, to Chicago—more specifically, to Cook County Hospital. At a time when many other medical centers still refused to admit black patients, County was—like home in Robert Frost's "The Death of the Hired Man"—the "place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in."

But, Ansell says, the lobby at County "could have been mistaken for a Calcutta bus station." ,,, "We were practicing Third World Medicine in Chicago," he writes. And indeed, as he readily admits, he killed his share of patients. But in 17 years at County, Ansell also pioneered the practice of primary care, breast cancer screening, ... while advocating for universal health care and agitating against the inequities that continue to contribute to higher mortality rates among African-Americans and other minorities....The book is full of sentence fragments... but none of it detracts from this man's rock solid cred! " —Kate Schmidt  Chicago Reader Spring Books Issue, April 21, 2011



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