The Quest for Health Reform: A Satirical History is an engaging new historical book that recounts the chronology of efforts to reform the U.S. health system through the lens of political cartoons published as early as the 19th century through passage of the Affordable Care Act. Co-authored by Executive Director of the American Public Health Association and former Joan H. Tisch Distinguished Fellow in Public Health at Hunter College, Georges C. Benjamin, MD, medical historian Theodore M. Brown, PhD; Susan Ladwig, MPH and Elyse Berkman, The Quest for Health Reform adds narrative to more than 100 years of selected caricatures, extending from famous 1870s editorial cartoonist Thomas Nast – who drew the elephant that remains a symbol for the Republican Party – to modern artists such as Mike Luckovich, who parodies U.S. Presidents Harry S. Truman, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. It is an amazing look at the evolution of health reform in the United States.

Buy the book online through the APHA website.


Georges C. Benjamin  Executive Director, American Public Health Association; Joan H. Tisch Distinguished Fellow in Public Health 2010-2011

Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP(E), FNAPA, Hon FRSPH, is the executive director of the American Public Health Association, the nation’s oldest and largest organization of public health professionals. He previously was the secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, from 1999 – 2002 following four years as its deputy secretary for public health services. For the last 20 years he has been actively practicing public health at the local, state, and national level with expertise in the areas of emergency preparedness, administration and infectious diseases. Dr. Benjamin serves as publisher of the field’s premier journal, the American Journal of Public Health, The Nation’s Health Newspaper and the APHA’s timeless publication on infectious diseases, the Control of Communicable Diseases Manual.

Theodore Brown  Professor, Department of Health Sciences University of Rochester Medical Center

Theodore Brown is a historian of medicine, public health, and health policy. He has conducted research on the history of the biopsychosocial approach and on translational medicine; the history of twentieth and early twenty-first century U.S. health policy; the influence of organized philanthropy on medical research, health policy, and medical education, and the history of American and global public health. He is a Contributing Editor for History of the American Journal of Public Health.

Clay Bennett  Editorial Cartoonist, Chattanooga Times Free Press

Clay Bennett is an American editorial cartoonist. Currently drawing for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Bennett is the winner of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning.


“The Quest for Health Reform: A Satirical History,” Book Discussion with Georges Benjamin, Theodore M. Brown, Clay Bennett | Posted on January 9th, 2013 | Public Programs