Within Reason: A Liberal Public Health for an Illiberal Time (Paperback)

Within Reason: A Liberal Public Health for an Illiberal Time By Sandro Galea Cover Image
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A provocative chronicle of how US public health has strayed from its liberal roots.

The Covid-19 response was a crucible of politics and public health—a volatile combination that produced predictably bad results. As scientific expertise became entangled with political motivations, the public-health establishment found itself mired in political encampment.

It was, as Sandro Galea argues, a crisis of liberalism: a retreat from the principles of free speech, open debate, and the pursuit of knowledge through reasoned inquiry that should inform the work of public health.

Across fifty essays, Within Reason chronicles how public health became enmeshed in the insidious social trends that accelerated under Covid-19. Galea challenges this intellectual drift towards intolerance and absolutism while showing how similar regressions from reason undermined social progress during earlier eras. Within Reason builds an incisive case for a return to critical, open inquiry as a guiding principle for the future public health we want—and a future we must work to protect.

About the Author

Sandro Galea is the dean and Robert A. Knox Professor at the Boston University School of Public Health. He is the author of several books, including The Contagion Next Time and Well: What We Need to Talk about When We Talk about Health.

Praise For…

"Despite remarkable successes, Galea argues, public health succumbed to a disturbing strain of illiberalism during the pandemic. . . .Galea makes a powerful case that to carry the worst illiberal outcomes from the pandemic into the next crisis would be a devastating mistake."
— Pamela Paul

"Galea is a good companion in navigating readers through the political thickets in which public health now operates. [Within Reason] is not about COVID-19, but the pandemic was an enormous stress test of public health and thrust public health into the center of politics and media attention."
— The Lancet

“Powerful, erudite, and immersive—an essential treatise on our needed reformation in public health.”
— Alonzo Plough | Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

“With equal dose of empathy and examination, Sandro Galea challenges us to undertake a deep exercise of self-reflection: how our hard-won political beliefs may betray us in the hope for a greater good. Within Reason is critically relevant for each of us—and all of us.”
— Julio Frenk | University of Miami

Product Details
ISBN: 9780226822914
ISBN-10: 0226822915
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication Date: December 1st, 2023
Pages: 304
Language: English