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Under the Skin by Linda Villarosa
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Under the Skin

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Under the Skin by Linda Villarosa
Paperback $18.00
May 09, 2023 | ISBN 9780525566229

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    May 09, 2023 | ISBN 9780525566229

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    Jun 14, 2022 | ISBN 9780385544887

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  • Jun 14, 2022 | ISBN 9781984885944

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ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Times, The Atlantic, NPR, The Washington Post, TIME, Harvard Public Health, Publishers Weekly, BookPage

J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize Winner NYPL Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism Finalist Shortlisted for the Brooklyn Public Library Book Prize Shortlisted for the Museum of African American History Stone Book Award

“Brilliant, illuminating. . . Meticulously researched, sweeping in its historical breadth, damning in its clear-eyed assessment of facts and yet hopeful in its outlook, Under the Skin is a must-read for all who affirm that Black lives matter.”
The Washington Post

“Singular and expansive. . . In this eminently admirable book, there are no easy answers or platitudes.”
The New York Times Book Review

“Perhaps one of the most important and thought-provoking publications of the year is Linda Villarosa’s groundbreaking Under the Skin. . . It’s a stunning exposé of why Black people in our society ‘live sicker and die quicker’—an eye-opening game changer.”
Oprah Daily

“Gripping, incisive”
The Boston Globe

“Villarosa’s empathic and sharp-sighted journalism is as astute as it is groundbreaking, as brilliant as it is timely. Let the conversations begin!”
Jacqueline Woodson, New York Times bestselling author of Red at the Bone

“It’s no secret that Black people are subject to the cumulative effects of systemic racism. But Linda Villarosa’s Under the Skin walks us through the inevitable consequences of living in a racist country on our bodies, our environments, and our healthcare system. The cultural manifestations of the physical and psychological traumas affecting Black People alter or distort all our lives. Those of us who understand that structural violence has physical ramifications will be in debt to Under the Skin. I am grateful for the arrival of this book. It is a relief to have the truth of racialized trauma exposed in such cogent, undeniable writing and with such genius analysis. This is journalism at its finest. If you read one book this year, let it be this one.”
Claudia Rankine, author of Citizen: An American Lyric

“In Under the Skin, Linda Villarosa has written a book that will transform how you understand the relationship between race and medicine, one that makes clear the connection between our history and our health. This is a book filled with indispensable research, but also filled with humanity. Villarosa tells us important stories, and also becomes part of the story herself. I’m so glad this book exists, I will be thinking about it for a long time.”
Clint Smith, New York Times bestselling author of How the Word Is Passed

Under the Skin is an eye-opening and necessary text that will fundamentally change the way you look at healthcare in the US.”
Buzzfeed News

“Finally, we have the definitive and long-overdue volume detailing the real cost of racism on the health and well-being of Black people in the US. Consider it #RequiredReading.”
Ms. Magazine

“Under the Skin makes a powerful case that the systematic assault on Black Americans’ bodies is unhealthy for the entire nation. Based on decades of cutting-edge investigative reporting, Villarosa shines a fresh spotlight on this urgent crisis and offers a promising path to health equity.”
Dorothy Roberts, author Killing the Black Body

“Linda Villarosa, one of our fiercest and most cutting-edge journalists, has given us a classic for the ages. Through engrossing stories of people’s real experiences and her signature rigorous reporting, she reveals the biggest picture in American lifethat racism has done us all in, and produced a nation so steeped in white supremacy mythology that we cannot take care of ourselves or each other. This book is a gift, a map and a necessity, relevant for every reader who wants to understand their own time.”
Sarah Schulman, author of Let the Record Show

“Linda Villarosa’s Under the Skin is a compelling and deeply reported examination of racial disparities in health care, cutting through the dangerous, paralyzing, and archaic myths that continue to cloud the vision of medical professionals and policymakers about what is wrong and what needs to change.”
Adam Serwer, New York Times bestselling author of The Cruelty Is the Point

“Like Covid, Under The Skin is a powerful indictment of how structural inequalities have permeated the quality of health care delivered to people of color in this nation.”
Catherine Coleman Flowers, author of Waste

“A stunning look at the racial disparities in health outcomes for Black and white Americans . . . Skillfully interweaving historical and medical facts with empathetic profiles of people who have been affected by HIV/AIDS, Covid-19, and other health crises enabled by structural racism, Villarosa delivers a passionate call for equality in the American medical system. The result is an urgent and utterly convincing must-read.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“This powerful, carefully researched book reveals the significant health challenges faced by Black Americans simply due to being Black . . . Villarosa documents unending examples of social racism, inbred bias, and general neglect, but somehow remains hopeful for change, introducing individuals and programs that are making positive differences. Her thoughtful, personal account raises issues that affect all Americans.”
Booklist (starred review)

“An eye-opening, heartbreaking study of the racism deeply embedded in U.S. medicine and society; critical for any reader interested in racism’s effects on quality of life.”
Library Journal (starred review)

“Linda Villarosa’s wonderfully written book makes stunning points about the health risks of racism amid moving narratives of real people’s experiences.”
BookPage (starrred review)

“A damning account of how race and racism determine the quality and quantity of medical care in the U.S. . . . A closely argued case for racial and class equity in health care, revealing a medical regime sorely in need for reform.”
Kirkus Reviews


J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize WINNER 2023

NAACP Literary Non-Fiction Award NOMINEE 2023

Pulitzer Prize (Non-Fiction) FINALIST 2023

Table Of Contents

One Everything I Thought Was Wrong  
Two The Dangerous Myth That Black Bodies Are Different
Three Unequal Treatment  
Four Something About Being Black Is Bad for Your Body and Your Baby
Five Where You Live Matters  
Six Strong, Loud, and Angry: The Invisibility of Black Emotional Pain  
Seven Discrimination and Ill-Treatment Can Harm Every Body  
Eight Putting the Care Back in Health Care: Solutions  


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