Introduction: An Eclectic View of Health

In keeping with CHE's approach to understanding interactions between people and the environment over time, members of the CHE community have created an eclectic reading list of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and films on the subject of health.

The lists below can be used for both course planning and general interest. if you see something missing.

And check out more CHE reading lists.


Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. 1st ed. New Press, The, 2010.

Amyes, Sebastian G. B. Magic Bullets, Lost Horizons: The Rise and Fall of Antibiotics. London: Taylor & Francis, 2001.

Basso, Keith H. Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language Among the Western Apache. First Printing. University of New Mexico Press, 1996.

Berry, Wendell. Another Turn of the Crank. Counterpoint, 1996.
------. Life Is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition. Counterpoint, 2001.
------. The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture. Revised. Sierra Club Books, 1996.

Bookchin, Murray. Our Synthetic Environment. Revised. Joanna Cotler Books, 1975.

Briggs, Charles L., and Clara Mantini-Briggs M.D. M.P.H. Stories in the Time of Cholera: Racial Profiling during a Medical Nightmare. 1st ed. University of California Press, 2004.

Brown, Phil. No Safe Place: Toxic Waste, Leukemia, and Community Action. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997.
------. Toxic Exposures: Contested Illnesses and the Environmental Health Movement. 1st ed. Columbia University Press, 2007.

Bullard, Robert D. Dumping In Dixie: Race, Class, And Environmental Quality, Third Edition. Third Edition. Westview Press, 2000.

Carson, Rachel. Silent Spring. Houghton Mifflin Co., 1962.

Chavis, Benjamin F. Toxic Waste and Race in the United States: A National Report of the Racial and Socio-Economic Characteristics of Communities with Harzardous Sites. United Church of Christ, 1987.

Clark, Claudia. Radium Girls: Women and Industrial Health Reform, 1910-1935. 1st ed. The University of North Carolina Press, 1997.

Corburn, Jason. Street Science: Community Knowledge and Environmental Health Justice. The MIT Press, 2005.

Daniel, Eddee. Urban Wilderness: Exploring a Metropolitan Watershed. Center for American Places, 2008.

Daniel, Pete. Toxic Drift: Pesticides and Health in the Post-World War II South. Louisiana State University Press, 2007.

Davis, Devra. The Secret History of the War on Cancer. Reprint. Basic Books, 2009.

Davis, Thomas. Sustaining the Forest, the People, and the Spirit. SUNY Press, 2000.

Deloria, Philip J. Indians in Unexpected Places. University Press of Kansas, 2006.

Dewey, Scott Hamilton. Don't Breathe the Air: Air Pollution and U.S. Environmental Politics, 1945-1970. TAMU Press, 2000.

Doss, Erika. Memorial Mania: Public Feeling in America. University Of Chicago Press, 2010.

Dubos, Jean. Mirage of Health: Utopia, Progress, and Bilogical Change. Rutgers University Press, 1987.

Dunlap, Thomas. Ddt: Scientists, Citizens, and Public Policy. Princeton Univ Pr, 1983.
-------, DDT, Silent Spring, and the Rise of Environmentalism: Classic Texts. University of Washington Press, 2008.

Eiseley, Loren. The Unexpected Universe. Mariner Books, 1972.

Fadiman, Anne. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. 1st ed. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998.

Gandy, Matthew. Concrete and Clay: Reworking Nature in New York City. The MIT Press, 2003.

Hazlett, Maril. The story of Silent Spring and the ecological turn, 2003.

Health and the Modern Home. Routledge studies in the social history of medicine 31. New York: Routledge, 2007.

Hilts, Philip J. Protecting America's Health: The FDA, Business, and One Hundred Years of Regulation. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2003.

Hoy, Suellen. Chasing Dirt: The American Pursuit of Cleanliness. Oxford University Press, USA, 1996.

Jackson, Mark. Allergy: The History of a Modern Malady. 1st ed. Reaktion Books, 2007.

Jacobs, Jane. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. First Edition. first modern library. Modern Library, 1993.

Johnston, Robert D. The Politics of Healing: Histories of Alternative Medicine in Twentieth-Century North America. 1st ed. Routledge, 2004.

Kidder, Tracy. Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World. Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2009.

Klinenberg, Eric. Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago. University Of Chicago Press, 2003.

Kroll-Smith, J. Stephen. Bodies in Protest: Environmental Illness and the Struggle Over Medical Knowledge. New York: New York University Press, 1997.

Kroll-Smith, J. Stephen, Phil Brown, and Valerie J Gunter, eds. Illness and the Environment: A Reader in Contested Medicine. New York: New York University Press, 2000.

Lane, Patrick. What the Stones Remember: A Life Rediscovered. Trumpeter, 2006.

Langston, Nancy. Toxic Bodies: Hormone Disruptors and the Legacy of DES. Yale University Press, 2011.

Leavitt, Judith W. The Healthiest City: Milwaukee and the Politics of Health Reform. University of Wisconsin Press, 1996.

Leavitt, Judith Walzer, and Ronald L Numbers, eds. Sickness and Health in America: Readings in the History of Medicine and Public Health. 3rd ed. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1997.

LeCain, Timothy J. Mass Destruction the Men and giant Mines That Wired America and Scarred the Planet. Rutgers University Press, 2009.

Leopold, Aldo. A Sand County Almanac; with essays on conservation from Round River. BallantineBooks, 1990.

Levine, Peter. The Future of Democracy: Developing the Next Generation of American Citizens. Tufts, 2007.

Lovelock, James. The Revenge of Gaia: Earth's Climate Crisis & The Fate of Humanity. Basic Books, 2007.
------. The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning. First Trade Paper Edition. Basic Books, 2010.

Mabey, Richard. Nature Cure. University of Virginia Press, 2007.

Manning, Richard. Grassland: The History, Biology, Politics and Promise of the American Prairie. Penguin (Non-Classics), 1997.

Markowitz, Gerald, and David Rosner. Deceit and Denial: The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution. 1st ed. University of California Press, 2003.

McPhee, John. Heirs of General Practice. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1986.

Medoff, Peter, and Holly Sklar. Streets of Hope?: The Fall and Rise of an Urban Neighborhood. South End Press, 1999.

Melosi, Martin V. Garbage In The Cities: Refuse Reform and the Environment. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004.
------. The Sanitary City: Environmental Services in Urban America from Colonial Times to the Present. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008.

Mitman, Gregg, Michelle Murphy, and Christopher Sellers. Osiris, Volume 19: Landscapes of Exposure: Knowledge and Illness in Modern Environments. 1st ed. University of Chicago Press Journals, 2004.

Mitman, Gregg. Breathing Space: How Allergies Shape Our Lives and Landscapes. Yale University Press, 2008.

Molina, Natalia. Fit to Be Citizens?: Public Health and Race in Los Angeles, 1879-1939. 1st ed. University of California Press, 2006.

Moore, Kathleen Dean, Kurt Peters, Ted Jojola, Amber Lacy, and Linda Hogan. How It Is: The Native American Philosophy of V. F. Cordova. University of Arizona Press, 2007.

Morton, Timothy. The Ecological Thought. Harvard University Press, 2010.

Murphy, Michelle. Sick Building Syndrome and the Problem of Uncertainty: Environmental Politics, Technoscience, and Women Workers. 1st ed. Duke University Press Books, 2006.

Nash, Linda. Inescapable Ecologies: A History of Environment, Disease, and Knowledge. 1st ed. University of California Press, 2007.

Nearing, Scott, and Helen Nearing. The Good Life: Helen and Scott Nearing's Sixty Years of Self-Sufficient Living. Schocken Books, 1990.

Nixon, Rob. Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor. Harvard University Press, 2011.

Nowak, Mark. Coal Mountain Elementary. Coffee House Press, 2009.

Oreskes, Naomi, and Erik M. M. Conway. Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. Reprint. Bloomsbury Press, 2011.

Patterson, James T. The Dread Disease: Cancer and Modern American Culture. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1987.

Pellow, David Naguib. Resisting Global Toxics: Transnational Movements for Environmental Justice. 1st ed. The MIT Press, 2007.

Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. Penguin, 2007.

Proctor, Robert. Cancer Wars: How Politics Shapes What We Know and Don't Know About Cancer. New York: BasicBooks, 1995.

Pulido, Laura. Environmentalism and Economic Justice: Two Chicano Struggles in the Southwest. University of Arizona Press, 1996.

Revel, Jean-Francois, Matthieu Ricard, John Canti, and Jack Miles. The Monk and the Philosopher: A Father and Son Discuss the Meaning of Life. Schocken, 2000.

Roberts, Paul. The End of Food. Reprint. Mariner Books, 2009.
------. The End of Oil: On the Edge of a Perilous New World. Mariner Books, 2005.

Rosenberg, Charles E. The Cholera Years: The United States in 1832, 1849, and 1866. 2nd ed. University of Chicago Press, 1987.

Rosner, David, and Gerald Markowitz. Deadly Dust: Silicosis and the On-Going Struggle to Protect Workers' Health. University of Michigan Press, 2006.

Savage, Kirk. Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves. Princeton University Press, 1999.

Sellers, Christopher C. Hazards of the Job: From Industrial Disease to Environmental Health Science. 1st ed. The University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

Shah, Nayan. Contagious Divides: Epidemics and Race in San Francisco's Chinatown. 1st ed. University of California Press, 2001.

Sinclair, Upton. The Jungle: Complete and Unabridged . Wilder Publications, 2010.

Smith, Gregory A., and David Sobel. Place- and Community-Based Education in Schools. 1st ed. Routledge, 2010.

Smith, Paul Chaat. Everything You Know about Indians Is Wrong. Univ Of Minnesota Press, 2009.

Sontag, Susan. Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors. 1st ed. Picador, 2001.

Spirn, Anne W. The Granite Garden: Urban Nature And Human Design. Basic Books, 1985.

Spirn, Anne Whiston. Language of Landscape. Yale University Press, 2000.

Steinberg, Ted. American Green: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn. W. W. Norton & Company, 2007.

Steingraber, Sandra. Living Downstream: An Ecologist's Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment. Da Capo Press, 2010.

Stern, Alexandra Minna. Eugenic Nation: Faults and Frontiers of Better Breeding in Modern America. 1st ed. University of California Press, 2005.

Sze, Julie. Noxious New York: The Racial Politics of Urban Health and Environmental Justice. The MIT Press, 2006.

Thrush, Coll. Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing-Over Place. University of Washington Press, 2008.

Tomes, Nancy. The Gospel of Germs: Men, Women, and the Microbe in American Life. Harvard University Press, 1999.

Valencius, Conevery, and Conevery Bolton Valencius. The Health of the Country: How American Settlers Understood Themselves and Their Land. First Trade Paper Edition. Basic Books, 2003.

Walker, Brett L. Toxic Archipelago: A History of Industrial Disease in Japan. University of Washington Press, 2011.

Wargo, Mr. John. Our Children's Toxic Legacy: How Science and Law Fail to Protect Us from Pesticides. 2nd ed. Yale University Press, 1998.

Warren, Christian. Brush with Death: A Social History of Lead Poisoning. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001.

Washington, Sylvia Hood. Packing Them In: An Archaeology of Environmental Racism in Chicago, 1865-1954. Lexington Books, 2005.

Weisman, Alan. The World Without Us. Reprint. Picador, 2008.

Whorton, James C. Before Silent Spring: Pesticides and Public Health in Pre-Ddt America. Princeton Univ Pr, 1975.
------. Nature Cures: The History of Alternative Medicine in America. Oxford University Press, USA, 2004.

Williams, Terry Tempest. Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place. 2nd ed. Vintage, 1992.

Wilson, Edward O. Biophilia. Harvard University Press, 1984.

Fiction and Poetry

Ammons, A. R. Garbage: A Poem. W. W. Norton & Company, 2002.

Berry, Wendell. Fidelity: Five Stories. Pantheon, 1993.

Burgess, Anthony. The Wanting Seed. W. W. Norton & Company, 1996.

DeLillo, Don. White Noise: Anv Dlx. Penguin Classics, 2009.

Druon, Maurice. Tistou Of The Green Thumbs. New York, Scribners 1959, 1959.

Dungy, Camille T. Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry. University of Georgia Press, 2009.

Fleischman, Paul. Seedfolks. HarperTrophy, 1999.

Friel, Brian. Translations: A Play. First Thus. Faber & Faber, 1995.

Hirshfield, Jane. The Lives of the Heart: Poems. 1st ed. Harper Perennial, 1997.

Hoban, Russell. Riddley Walker. Indiana University Press, 1998.

Johnson, Kimberly. A Metaphorical God: Poems. Persea, 2008.

Kaufman, Janet, and Anne Herzog. The Collected Poems of Muriel Rukeyser. 1st ed. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006.

Kingsolver, Barbara. Prodigal Summer: A Novel. Harper Perennial, 2001.

Muir, Edwin. Edwin Muir Selected Poems. Faber & Faber, 2008.

Rich, Louise Dickinson. We Took to the Woods. As. Down East Books, 2007.

Sinha, Indra. Animal's People: A Novel. Reprint. Simon & Schuster, 2009.

Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr. Cancer Ward. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1991.

Spahr, Juliana. This Connection of Everyone with Lungs: Poems. 1st ed. University of California Press, 2005.

Wheatley, Nadia, and Donna Rawlins. My Place. Addison Wesley Longman, 1998.