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Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9780349015163

Price: £25

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‘Monumental ‘ IBRAM X. KENDI
‘Eloquent, comprehensive and compassionate’ LINDA VILLAROSA
‘Superbly insightful’ HARRIET A. WASHINGTON

Fusing science and social justice, Weathering offers an urgent and necessary exploration of how systemic injustice erodes the health of marginalized people.

Renowned public health researcher Dr Arline T. Geronimus coined the term ‘weathering’ to describe what public health statistics have long evidenced: systemic injustice takes a physical, oftentimes deadly, toll on Black, brown, working class and poor communities. They are disproportionately more likely to suffer from chronic diseases and die at much younger ages than their middle- and upper-class white counterparts.

Weathering argues that health and ageing have more to do with how society treats us than how well we take care of ourselves. It reveals what happens to human bodies as they attempt to withstand and overcome the challenges that society leverages at them, and details how this process ravages health.

Until now, there has been little discussion about the insidious effects of social injustice on the body. Weathering shifts the paradigm and provides compelling solutions, shining a light on the topic and offering a roadmap for hope.

What's Inside

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As I learn more about the complexity of chronic diseases, and the reasons black people who grew up like I did endure them more often than others, it provides me a peace of mind I didn't know was possible. This book brings clarity where I've long had confusion. No doubt, it will influence the broader discussion about health and race in this country on a macro and policy-level. But more than that, it will be invaluable to folks who've faced anything like I did since I was a child
Issac J. Bailey, author of Why Didn’t We Riot?
The power of Geronimus's project remains the attempt to provide a conceptual framework for patterns that medical institutions, in their convenient recourse to individual failings, have yet to fully recognize. I think about luminaries of Black Hollywood and hip-hop who are routinely felled by their own hearts well before their time and how the pandemic has coincided with ongoing police and carceral violence. I think about the elevated lead levels that were recently found in eighteen hundred Illinois public schools, or the noxious fumes released on residents of East Palestine, Ohio, when a Norfolk Southern train derailed in February. It is an observed truth that illness and death follow some kinds of people more than others. The mountain of evidence accretes still
New Yorker
Anurgent call for compassion and social justice
Public health activist and scientist Arline T. Geronimus, draws on her research to shine a light on what it means to age as a Black person in the United States
One of the most significant public health research discoveries of the last few decades is this: when it comes to health and aging, how society treats us has more of an impact than how we take care of ourselves. In this monumental book, Arline T. Geronimus meticulously demonstrates that systemic injustice isn't just oppressive - it's toxic on the body; it's deadly
Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning
The culmination of a life's groundbreaking work... frequently jaw-dropping... reasons for optimism too... crisp, backed with evidence and rather heroic in spirit
That body of evidence, which Dr. Geronimus describes in her new book, Weathering has turned her into an "icon" and provided a framework for understanding health inequities that goes deeper than blaming poor health on lifestyle choices or flawed genetics
New York Times
Arline Geronimus brings together a lifetime of research, scholarship, and experience to explain how continually battling back oppression hurts the human body. Her book offers an eloquent, comprehensive and compassionate framework for understanding the physiological effects of societal harm and a path to healing
Linda Villarosa, author of Under the Skin
Superbly insightful. If this unique volume did nothing else, I would recommend Weathering as the book on healthcare disparities. But it also distills and delivers its scholarship and insight in engaging narratives, including compelling personal histories so that you will glean your education in racial health disparities-and how to end them-quite painlessly. In fact, reading Weathering, with its clear-eyed mixture of reality and hope, is a delight
Harriet A. Washington, author of Medical Apartheid and Carte Blanche
Neither genetic differences nor unhealthy lifestyles are at the root of racial health disparities in the U.S., according to this powerhouse study. Geronimus uncovers and forcefully critiques harmful narratives in healthcare and social policy, including an "exaggerated" emphasis on the benefits of postponing childbearing (which puts Black mothers, in particular, at greater risk for "poor birth outcomes") and "age-washing" (which presupposes that there is "a universally uniform growth and aging process" and discounts the effects of racism and classism). Impassioned and persuasive, this is an essential call for change
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
In this insightful and well-argued book, the author contends that the physiological effects of living in marginalized communities, often caused by racial, ethnic, religious, and class discrimination, play a more significant role in the health of its members than genetics or lifestyle choices. The text benefits from the author's inclusion of stories of individuals who have experienced firsthand the effects of weathering, including those of her own family as descendants of Eastern European Jewish immigrants. In the hard-driving second part of the book, Geronimus provides suggestions to create a new path forward, creating action items for readers truly interested in doing something about racialized injustice and the weathering it causes. A compelling contribution to the literature on the important issue of health care inequity
Kirkus, Starred Review
In trying to understand the causes of group disparities in health outcomes, analysts have focused on features of the disadvantaged groups themselves - their genes, culture, income level, etc. - at the expense of environmental factors. Weathering corrects this bias. Better than any writing I've seen, it shows how the environments of the disenfranchised have a weathering impact on their health and longevity. Well-written and accessible, it is a powerful book; indispensable to developing policies capable of reducing these disparities. And more generally, it is a must read by anyone interested in the nature of identity in American life. In short, it deserves the very broadest of readerships!
Claude M. Steele, author of Whistling Vivaldi