Book details

The Social Transformation of American Medicine

The Rise of a Sovereign Profession and the Making of a Vast Industry

By Paul Starr

  • Edition: REV
  • ISBN13: 9780465093021
  • Pub Date: 05/30/2017 | Price: $25.00 / $32.50 CAN
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • 592 Pages
  • Request Desk/Exam Copy

About the Book

Winner of the Bancroft Prize
Winner of the C. Wright Mills Award

Considered the definitive history of the American healthcare system, The Social Transformation of American Medicine examines how the roles of doctors, hospitals, health plans, and government programs have evolved over the last two and a half centuries. How did the financially insecure medical profession of the nineteenth century become a most prosperous one in the twentieth century? Why was national health insurance blocked? And why are corporate institutions taking over our medical care system today? Beginning in 1760 and coming up to the present day, renowned sociologist Paul Starr traces the decline of professional sovereignty in medicine, the political struggles over healthcare, and the rise of a corporate system.

Updated with a new preface and an epilogue analyzing developments since the early 1980s, this new edition of The Social Transformation of American Medicine is a must-read for anyone concerned about the future of our fraught healthcare system.

About the Author

Paul Starr is Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University and its Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs. He is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Social Transformation of American Medicine and The Creation of the Media. Starr is the co-founder and editor of The American Prospect. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.


"The definitive social history of the medical profession in America....A monumental achievement."—New York Times Book Review

"Superb sociology, superior history--and essential reading for anyone interested in the fate of American medicine."—Newsweek

"The most ambitious and important analysis of American medicine to appear in over a decade.... If you read only one book about American medicine, this is the one you should read."—Ronald Numbers, author of The Creationists: The Evolution of Scientific Creationism