If you had to read one book on global health...

Dr. Madhukar Pai

See original article here.


I teach an introductory course on global health, and am always looking to make it better. I recently posed a question on Twitter: If there is 1 book that you would like all global health students to read, it would be.....?

The question elicited a large number of responses and re-tweets. Here is the compilation of over 120 books recommended by a variety of people. I have provided a hyperlink to a website with more details on each book. The list is alphabetically organized using the last name of the first author of the book. I have made no effort to rank the books (which is impossible, in any case!) nor provide numbers on how many times a book was recommended (too much work!).

I am grateful to all those who contributed to this list. 

Happy reading!

  1. Adams, Vincanne - Metrics: What Counts in Global Health

  2. Antia, Noshir - A Life of Change: The Autobiography of a Doctor

  3. Atkinson, Anthony - Inequality: What Can Be Done?

  4. Baker, Josephine - Fighting For Life

  5. Bang, Rani - Putting Women First: Women and Health in a Rural Community

  6. Bashford, Alison - Imperial Hygiene: A Critical History of Colonialism, Nationalism and Public Health

  7. Barber, Benjamin - Consumed

  8. Banerjee, Abhijit & Duflo, Esther - Poor Economics

  9. Behrman, Greg - The Invisible People

  10. Benatar, Solomon - Global Health and Global Health Ethics

  11. Biehl, João & Petryna, Adriana - When People Come First

  12. Birn, Anne-Emanuelle & Pillay, Yogan & Holtz, Timothy - Textbook of Global Health

  13. Bollyky, Thomas - Plagues and the Paradox of Progress

  14. Buse, Kent & Mays, Nicholas & Walt, Gill - Making Health Policy

  15. Brauman, Rony - Humanitaire : Le Dilemme

  16. Camus, Albert - The Plague

  17. Clinton, Chelsea & Sridhar, Devi - Governing Global Health

  18. Conrad, Joseph - Heart of Darkness

  19. Connelly, Matthew - Fatal Misconception

  20. Crisp, Nigel - Turning The World Upside Down

  21. Daar, Abdallah & Singer, Peter - The Grandest Challenge

  22. Deaton, Angus - The Great Escape-Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality

  23. Desowitz, Robert - The Malaria Capers

  24. Easterly, William - The Tyranny of Experts

  25. Easterly, William - The White Man’s Burden

  26. Epstein, Helen - The Invisible Cure: Why We Are Losing the Fight Against AIDS in Africa

  27. Fadiman, Anne - The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

  28. Fanon, Frantz - The Wretched of the Earth

  29. Fanon, Frantz - Black Skin, White Masks

  30. Farmer, Paul - Infection and Inequalities

  31. Farmer, Paul - Reimagining Global Health

  32. Farmer, Paul - To Repair The World

  33. Farmer, Paul - Pathologies of Power

  34. Farmer, Paul - AIDS and Accusation

  35. Ferris, Ramesh - Better than a Cure: One Man's Journey to Free the World of Polio

  36. Foege, William - House on Fire

  37. Folbre, Nancy - Who Pays for the Kids?: Gender and the Structures of Constraint

  38. Freire, Paulo - Pedagogy of the Oppressed

  39. Frerichs, Ralph - Deadly River: Cholera and Cover-Up in Post-Earthquake Haiti

  40. Freudenberg, Nicholas - Lethal But Legal

  41. Garrett, Laurie - The Coming Plague

  42. Garrett, Laurie - Betrayal of Trust

  43. Gawande, Atul - Better

  44. George, Rose - The Big Necessity

  45. Glassman, Amanda & Temin, Miriam - Millions Saved

  46. Goldhill, David - Catastrophic Care

  47. Harrison, Gordon - Mosquitoes, Malaria, and Man

  48. Hochschild, Adam - King Leopold's Ghost

  49. Hofman, Michiel & Au Sokhieng - The Politics of Fear

  50. Holmes, Seth - Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies

  51. Johnson, Stephen - The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic

  52. Kabeer, Naila - Reversed Realities: Gender Hierarchies in Development Thought

  53. Keltner, Dacher - The Power Paradox

  54. KerouedanDominique - Géopolitique de la santé mondiale

  55. Keyes, Katherine & Galea, Sandra - Population Health Science

  56. Kidder, Tracy - Mountains Beyond Mountains

  57. Klein, Naomi - This Changes Everything

  58. Krieger, Nancy - Epidemiology and the People's Health

  59. Krishna, Anirudh - One Illness Away

  60. Lewis, Stephen - Race Against Time

  61. Lipsky, Michael - Street-Level Bureaucracy

  62. Livingston, Julie - Improvising Medicine: An African Oncology Ward in an Emerging Cancer Epidemic

  63. Lougheed, Kathryn - Catching Breath: The Making and Unmaking of Tuberculosis

  64. Luhrmann, TM - Our Most Troubling Madness

  65. Madan, TN - Doctors and Society

  66. Marmot, Michael - The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World

  67. Maskalyk, James - Six Months in Sudan

  68. Mayblin, Lucy - Asylum after Empire

  69. McGoey, Linsey - No Such Thing as a Free Gift

  70. McNeill, William Hardy - Plagues and Peoples

  71. Merson, Michael - The AIDS Pandemic: Searching for a Global Response

  72. Morris, JN - Uses of Epidemiology

  73. Mukwege, Denis - Plaidoyer pour la vie

  74. Munk, Nina - The Idealist

  75. Mukherjee, Joia - An Introduction to Global Health Delivery

  76. Nattrass, Nicoli - Mortal Combat: AIDS Denialism and the Struggle for Antiretrovirals in South Africa

  77. Novogratz, Jacqueline - The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World

  78. Orbinski, James - An Imperfect Offering

  79. Packard, Randall - A History of Global Health

  80. Packard, Randall - The Making of a Tropical Disease

  81. Paris, Django & Winn, M - Humanizing Research

  82. Patel, Raj - Stuffed and Starved

  83. Pepin, Jacques - The Origins of AIDS

  84. Petchesky, Rosalind - Global Prescriptions

  85. People's Health Movement, Medact, Third World Network, Health Poverty Action, Medico International, and ALAMES - Global Health Watch 5

  86. Piot, Peter - No Time to Lose: A Life in Pursuit of Deadly Viruses

  87. Pisani, Elizabeth - The Wisdom of Whores

  88. Prince, Ruth - Making and Unmaking Public Health in Africa

  89. Quammen, David - Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic

  90. Rawls, John - A Theory of Justice

  91. Rosling, Hans - Factfulness

  92. Rosenberg, Mark - Real Collaboration

  93. Ryan, Frank - Tuberculosis – The Greatest Story Never Told

  94. Sen, Amartya - Development as Freedom

  95. Sen, Amartya - The Idea of Justice

  96. Sen, Gita - Development, Crises and Alternative Visions

  97. Shah, Sonia - Pandemic

  98. Shilts, Randy - And The Band Played On

  99. Sinclair, Upton - The Jungle

  100. Smith, Lindia - Decolonizing Methodologies

  101. Sontag, Susan - Illness as Metaphor

  102. Sridhar, Devi - The Battle Against Hunger

  103. Steinberg, Jonny - Three Letter Plague

  104. Stuckler, David & Basu, Sanjay - The Body Economic

  105. Supari, Siti - It's Time for the World to Change in the Spirit of Dignity, Equity and Transparency

  106. Verghese, Abraham - Cutting For Stone

  107. Vineis, Paulo - Health Without Borders: Epidemics in the Era of Globalization

  108. Walsh, Sinead & Johnson - Getting to Zero

  109. Walt, Gill - Health Policy: An Introduction to Process and Power

  110. Washington, Harriet - Medical Apartheid

  111. Weber, Leanne - Globalization and Borders

  112. Wendland, Claire - A Heart For the Work

  113. Werner, David - Helping Health Workers Learn

  114. Werner, David - Where There is No Doctor

  115. Wilkinson, David & Pickett, Kate - The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better

  116. Willem, Jean Pierre - Et la paix, docteur? : un médecin sur tous les fronts

  117. Wolff, Jonathan - The Human Right To Health

  118. World Health Organization - Constitution of the World Health Organization

  119. Yanguas, Pablo - Why We Lie About Aid

  120. Yamin, Alicia - Power, Suffering, and the Struggle for Dignity Human Rights Frameworks for Health and Why They Matter

  121. Zinsser, Hans - Rats, Lice and History

Dr. Madhukar Pai is a Professor and a Canada Research Chair in Epidemiology & Global Health at McGill University. He serves as the Director of McGill Global Health Programs, and Director of the McGill International TB Centre. http://www.paitbgroup.org/