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Book Reviews

Winter 2012-13
Juan A. Figueroa, INQUIRY


Excerpt:
"at times the book reads like a thriller, recounting the numerous ups and downs, last-minute surprises, and cliff hang- ers that composed the many months of the HCAN campaign... Even knowing the outcome, I found Kirsch’s skilled storytelling held my interest and attention."

For the full review go to: http://www.fightingforourhealth.com/reviews/2012-13-Winter-Inquiry.pdf   [PDF]

Winter 2012-13
Carl R. Ameringer, Political Science Quarterly


Excerpt:
“Richard Kirsch’s bruising account of his involvement in the PPACA’s passage is lively, informative, and entertaining.”

For the full review go to: http://www.fightingforourhealth.com/reviews/2012-13-Winter-Political_Science_Review.pdf   [PDF]

July, 2012
S. J. Martin, Indiana University of Pennsylvania


Excerpt:
“Kirsch provides an excellent account of the trials and tribulations of passing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 in Fighting for Our Health. People who want to understand what goes on behind the scene in Congress, the White House, and interest groups must read this book.”

For the full review go to: http://www.fightingforourhealth.com/reviews/2012-07-CHOICE_Current_Reviews.pdf   [PDF]

June 21, 2012
Jeff Madrick, The New York Review of Books


Excerpt:
“The story of intense and rough politicking over more than a year after Obama outlined his health care plan is best told in Fighting for Our Health, by Richard Kirsch, a grassroots organizer.”

For the full review go to: Obama & Health Care: The Straight Story”   [PDF]

Spring, 2012
Sean Dobson


Excerpts:
“Stop what you are doing, buy this brilliant book and read it.”
“This book is the best account of the biggest domestic reform in a generation. Kirsch is uniquely well qualified to tell the tale; he is a gifted writer, one of the nation’s foremost health care advocates with decades of experience.”

For the full review go to: http://www.fightingforourhealth.com/reviews/ResponsivePhilanthropy_Spring2012_Dobson.pdf   [PDF]

May 6, 2012
Daily Gazette (Schenectady, NY)


Writer to Describe Push for Health Care Reform

For the full review go to: http://www.fightingforourhealth.com/reviews/2012-05-06-Schenectady_Gazette.pdf   [PDF]

Spring, 2012
Theda Skocpol, Dissent Magazine


Excerpt:
“Fighting for Our Health is the best account available of the formation of a coalition of unions and advocacy groups in support of comprehensive health reform.”

For the full review go to: http://www.rockinst.org/newsroom/news_stories/2012/2012-Spring-Dissent.pdf   [PDF]

February 6, 2012
Marc Stier at Large


Excerpt:
“Richard tells the story beautifully. And it is an exciting story of a campaign in support of what is, despite its flaws, a huge legislative achievement. It is the story of the roller-coaster ride this country took for 18 months.... It is an inspiring story, especially when Richard leaves Washington, and tells the personal stories of the staff and volunteers who, in so many states, gave so much of themselves to make this legislation possible. Anyone who doubts that citizen and labor activism can make a critical difference to our politics must read the book.... this book is great because it gives us an exciting narrative that explains in broad strokes how victory was possible: formulate a sensible strategy for change; build a coalition of citizen groups and labor not just in Washington but in the states and Congressional districts; and put all our resources—especially our time and energy—into the battle.”

For the full review go to: http://marcstier.com/blog2/?p=6302
FFOH Archive   [PDF]

January 30, 2012
American Journal of Neuroradiology


Excerpt:
"The book’s greatest strength is that it takes you on the journey with him as the process unfolds. You don’t have to be a political junkie to become involved in this story of how advocacy gets done. The book contains many fascinating details on a range of issues, from forming alliances to coordinating messaging and generating influence. Kirsch is not shy about taking sides and naming names. As the action plays out, he discusses how the votes were toted up in Congress to push the bill through. There is remarkable insight available in this book all the way down to the granular detail on how organizations like his work to mobilize the citizenry and to create change in America. There are lessons for physicians here and an opportunity for us to understand how perception is shaped."

For the full review go to: http://www.ajnrblog.org/2012/01/30/fighting-for-our-health/
FFOH Archive   [PDF]

Back Cover Quotes:

"Richard Kirsch's book is the rarest of combinations: an insider look at American politics that instructs as well as entertains. As head of the remarkable advocacy organization Health Care for America Now, Kirsch was on the frontlines of the fight for affordable, quality coverage for all Americans in 2008-10. Now he recalls those searing yet inspiring experiences with wit, wisdom, and a wry sense of humor. The result is a compelling story of the power of citizens' groups that says much about how health care reform happened—and what its passage and uncertain implementation mean for our democratic future."
Jacob S. Hacker, Professor of Political Science, Yale University, and co-author, Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer—And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class

"Finally, a book about intrigue and politics in Washington that has relevance for Americans outside the beltway, written by someone who is actually in a position to know what really happened."
Howard Dean, former Governor of Vermont

"This is the book to read for the inside story about the grass-roots campaign for health care reform... Richard Kirsch tells that story with passion and insight — and with important lessons for organizers of all kinds."
Paul Starr, Pulitzer Prize winner, Princeton University professor and author of Remedy and Reaction: The Peculiar American Struggle Over Health Care Reform

"Fighting for Our Health is a thoroughly enjoyable, enlightening read... that should be on the shelves of every activist in the country and will be a staple of college courses for many years."
Peter Dreier, E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics at Occidental College and author of The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame