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The Fears of the Rich, The Needs of the Poor

, 280 pages

14 b&w illus.

March 2018



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Usually ships 2-3 business days after receipt of order.

The Fears of the Rich, The Needs of the Poor

My Years at the CDC

In its seventy years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has evolved from a malaria control program to an institution dedicated to improving health for all people across the world. The Fears of the Rich, The Needs of the Poor is a revealing account of the CDC’s development by its former director, public health luminary William H. Foege.

Dr. Foege tells the stories of pivotal moments in public health, including the eradication of smallpox (made possible due in part to Foege’s research) and the discovery of Legionnaires’ disease, Reye syndrome, toxic shock syndrome, and HIV/AIDS. With good humor and optimism, he recounts the various crises he surmounted, from threats of terrorist attacks to contentious congressional hearings and funding cuts. Highlighting the people who made possible some of public health’s biggest successes, Foege outlines the work required behind the scenes and describes the occasional tensions between professionals in the field and the politicians in charge of oversight.

In recent years, global public health initiatives have come from unanticipated sources. Giants in the field now include President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, who promote programs aimed at neglected diseases. Melinda and Bill Gates have invigorated the field through research and direct program support, especially in the area of vaccine-preventable diseases. And the Merck Mectizan program has dramatically reduced river blindness in Africa. Foege has been involved in all of these efforts, among others, and he brings to this book the knowledge and wisdom derived from a long and accomplished career. The Fears of the Rich, The Needs of the Poor is an inviting but unvarnished account of that career and offers a plethora of lessons for those interested in public health.

William H. Foege, MD, MPH, is emeritus presidential distinguished professor of international health at Emory University and an early consultant to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He is the author of House on Fire: The Fight to Eradicate Smallpox. In 2012, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

"I would recommend the book to anyone interested in, or who works within, the field of public health. It is an excellent book that can be included on reading lists for public/global health modules."

"Bill Foege has been a source of great inspiration for me throughout my career. For anyone interested in public or global health, his book is absolutely fabulous. Filled with lively, engaging, and quotable anecdotes, it is a joy to read."

"Dr. Foege's account, which draws on his extensive experience with and deep understanding of watershed moments in public health, offers readers a penetrating look at history in the making. Highlighting lessons learned during his many years of association with the CDC, the book will provide students and scholars with valuable insight."

"There are few teachers as talented as Bill Foege. As comfortable quoting Voltaire and Democritus as the latest Lancet article or World Health Organization report, Bill is always clear in his thinking about how much the world has accomplished in improving health, as well as how much more we can do to alleviate human suffering."

"Bill Foege, a great storyteller, shares some of the most important stories for those in public health and all who care about the public’s health. The book is invaluable and can mentor those who have not had the privilege and good fortune of working with Dr. Foege."

"This ‘collection of stories’ by Bill Foege is a delightful view into many rich experiences of one of the world’s most exceptional and perceptive practitioners of public health. It is easy to read, often humorous, and filled with instructive insights into human nature, politics, and bureaucracy. Politicians and public health students could learn much from Foege’s wise observations."

"This insider's history of the politics, health processes, and management issues involved in maintaining and expanding the CDC's influence around the world should be required reading for anyone interested in public health on a global scale."

"By sharing real stories of infectious diseases that devastated populations and how Foege and his colleagues grew into the leaders that helped bring these epidemics under control, the book provides guidance and inspiration for current and future public health workforces. Although public health can be a thankless profession, through this memoir Foege reminds us how indispensable the field is for our world's future."

"Beautiful, wonderful, clear encouraging book"

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