Dying of Whiteness
A physician's "provocative" (Boston Globe) and "timely" (Ibram X. Kendi, New York Times Book Review) account of how right-wing backlash policies have deadly consequences -- even for the white voters they promise to help

In election after election, conservative white Americans have embraced politicians who pledge to make their lives great again. But as Dying of Whiteness shows, right-wing policies put these voters' very health at risk--and in the end, threaten everyone's well-being. Physician and sociologist Jonathan M. Metzl travels across America's heartland seeking to better understand the politics of racial resentment and its impact on public health. Interviewing a range of Americans, he uncovers how racial anxieties led to the repeal of gun control laws in Missouri, fueled massive cuts to schools and social services in Kansas, and stymied healthcare reform across the country. Although such measures promised to restore greatness to white America, Metzl's systematic analysis of health data reveals they did just the opposite: these policies made life sicker, harder, and shorter in the very populations they purported to aid. Thus, white gun suicides soared, life expectancies fell, and school dropout rates rose.  

Now with a new foreword on the backlash to the American pandemic response, Dying of Whiteness demonstrates how much white America would benefit by emphasizing cooperation, rather than chasing false promises of supremacy. 

Winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award
Publication Date: 
February 6, 2024