The First Resort: A History of Social Psychiatry in the United States by Matthew Smith. New York: Columbia University Press, 2023. £25, 396 pages, ISBN 9780231203937.

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In contemporary debates on public health in industrialised countries, there is a tendency to apply qualitatively distinct assessments of impact to those applied in low-middle income countries. Whereas in the latter, material development and increases in income are accepted as fundamental means of improving population health, in the former, there is often methodologically complex debate about the direction of causality between income and health. Some four decades after the release of the Black Report (Working Group on Inequalities in Health 1980) that established the notion of social determinants of health and presented clear socioeconomic means of promoting population health, public health research seems trapped in inward-focused technical queries that speak to trees, not forests.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPolitical Studies Review
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Jul 2023

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