To the benefit of all of us, Paul Starr has published an updated version of Social Transformation of American Medicine. Nearly everyone in health policy, health politics, or health law who has taken undergraduate or graduate study in the subject—to say nothing of the study of professions, the history of science, the sociology and history of medicine, and the political economy of health—will be familiar with this magisterial 1982 volume. Reading the updated edition gives students and scholars alike a chance to reengage with Starr's centuries-spanning narrative of the rise of the American medical profession to combined social, economic, and political dominance over the sphere of American health care. To the classic material, Starr appends a new epilogue surveying the last 35 years in light of what came before it.

Revisiting the text in the twenty-first century provides an opportunity to...

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