Guide to Environmental Health

Ideas and Issues Personal Writings

New Orleans         Usually when you read about a book that a publisher spent $1.6 million and allowed the authors to take eight years to get thing together for a July roll-out, this is the back story for some beach book potboiler with plenty of steamy scenes and page flying fury.  The money usually represents a 7-figure advance to produce a page turner.

    That’s not the story this time, but the excitement that awaits the book in public health and organizing circles surpasses any beach blanket anticipation.  The Berkeley-based Hyperion Press announced that this week it was coming out with its long awaited 600-page book called:  A Community Guide to Environmental Health.    This is the same outfit that produced the critical handbook that many global travelers have carried tens of thousands of miles:  When There is No Doctor.   That book was a simple how-to guide to health care that has become a much revised and revisited standard.

    Hyperion has produced in these two books sort of the “Whole Earth Catalogue” version of community health care with one focusing on individual health and now the Community Guide is expected to provide the same kind of antidote for how communities can take steps to protect their health in these times of environmental crises and threats.  The book not only endorses collective and organizational solutions, but advocates and recommends them.

    ACORN International organizers are trying to get our hands around this book now and how we can put the program to use.  Our friend, Dr. David Egilman, was heartily endorsing the book even before the news was out.  There is a lot of valuable information that can also be helpful to organizers in the US and other developed countries.

    Here’s a tip for all of our organizers who are long on heart, but short on cash.  The book is selling for $28, which is more than a fair price, but within seconds yesterday I was able to download the whole book to my computer (this version in English) from the Hyperion Press website.

    Hats off to Hyperion for doing it right, doing it again, and making information work around the world!