Open Mon-Sat 9am-6pm Sun 10am-5:30pm
Please visit our General Info page for our mask policy.

125th Anniversary Badge
 (858) 454-0347

The Hospital: Life, Death, and Dollars in a Small American Town (Hardcover)

The Hospital: Life, Death, and Dollars in a Small American Town Cover Image
On Our Shelves Now
1 on hand, as of Sep 19 4:04am


USA Today's 5 BOOKS NOT TO MISS | The Washington Post's 10 BOOKS TO READ IN MARCH | Fortune's 11 BOOKS TO READ IN MARCH

"From the C-suite’s tension-filled strategic planning meetings to life-or-death moments at the bedside, Alexander nimbly and grippingly translates the byzantine world of American health care into a real-life narrative with people you come to care about." —New York Times

"Brian Alexander spares no punches... an awesome book, hopefully in the running for a well-deserved award." —San Francisco Book Review

"Takes readers into the world of the American medical industry in a way no book has done before....details how we’ve created the dilemma we’re in." Fortune

"With his signature gut-punching prose, Alexander breaks our hearts as he opens our eyes to America’s deep-rooted sickness and despair by immersing us in the lives of a small town hospital and the people it serves." —Beth Macy, bestselling author of Dopesick

By following the struggle for survival of one small-town hospital, and the patients who walk, or are carried, through its doors, The Hospital takes readers into the world of the American medical industry in a way no book has done before. Americans are dying sooner, and living in poorer health. Alexander argues that no plan will solve America’s health crisis until the deeper causes of that crisis are addressed.

Bryan, Ohio's hospital, is losing money, making it vulnerable to big health systems seeking domination and Phil Ennen, CEO, has been fighting to preserve its independence. Meanwhile, Bryan, a town of 8,500 people in Ohio’s northwest corner, is still trying to recover from the Great Recession. As local leaders struggle to address the town’s problems, and the hospital fights for its life amid a rapidly consolidating medical and hospital industry, a 39-year-old diabetic literally fights for his limbs, and a 55-year-old contractor lies dying in the emergency room. With these and other stories, Alexander strips away the wonkiness of policy to reveal Americans’ struggle for health against a powerful system that’s stacked against them, but yet so fragile it blows apart when the pandemic hits. Culminating with COVID-19, this book offers a blueprint for how we created the crisis we're in.

About the Author

Brian Alexander has written about American culture for decades. A former contributing editor to Wired magazine, he has been recognized by Medill School of Journalism's John Bartlow Martin awards for public interest journalism, and by other organizations. He grew up in Lancaster, with a family history in the glass business. He lives in California. Brian is the author of Glass House.

Praise For…

Named The Biblioracle’s best books of 2021 so far in the Chicago Tribune

"Brian Alexander spares no punches... an awesome book, hopefully in the running for a well-deserved award." —San Francisco Book Review

"America is broken, but sometimes it takes looking at the smallest shattered pieces to realize how broken. That is the sad lesson at the core of Alexander’s The Hospital." —Rolling Stone

"A compelling snapshot of small-town America and how business is intertwined with health care." —Salon

"An emotionally and politically astute study... Alexander’s analysis is insightful and compelling; above all, it is empathetic." —SAGE

"Alexander also brings to his writing a deep understanding of the larger economic, political, and social trends that are slowly crushing the lives of the people he met in Bryan, and of people like them all over this country. In his telling, Bryan becomes a microcosm of American sickness in all its dimensions." —Washington Monthly

"Ambitious ... An absorbing story of one small hospital in a state of rapid transition." —The Columbus Dispatch

"A richly researched, highly contextualized, deeply compelling narrative." —Chicago Tribune

"Even in a year when the failures of the American healthcare system are painfully, catastrophically clear, Brian Alexander’s portrayal of a small-town hospital fighting for survival stands out." —LitHub

"The irony of it all, captured... Alexander won deep access." —Ohio Capital Journal

"'Fly on the wall' vantage point... Potent." —Dayton Daily News

"Gripping...It’s a story playing out across the country...A blueprint of how the American health crisis came to be." —The New York Post

"The Hospital shows how fragile our country’s health care was even before the pandemic, and how that fragility affects staff and administration as well as patients." —The Washington Post

"Show[s] the cruel gulfs in American health care." —Associated Press

"Hillbilly Elegy with a bad cough... Political, scary, and empathetic." —Sidney Herald

"The time Alexander spent embedded in the community gives continuity and depth to the stories of the individuals he connected with and puts a human face on broader issues of social inequality. This expertly reported account will resonate and find a wide audience.” —Library Journal (Starred)

“A superb account of a small-town hospital whose first priority is delivering high-quality medical care...In this eye-opening investigative study, [Alexander] offers vivid portraits of a dozen individuals ... A deeply insightful...portrait of America’s diseased health care system.” —Kirkus (Starred)

"This wrenching account brilliantly diagnoses the flaws in America’s healthcare system." —Publishers Weekly (Starred)

“Alexander’s scorching reportage provides a distressing, infuriating picture of health care delivery and highlights the heroic fight of a little hospital and humble hamlet to stay vital.” —Booklist (starred review)

"The Hospital is a heart-rending and unforgettable real-time journalistic deep dive. With the Affordable Care Act at the center of our national debate, I can't think of a more timely book. The doctors, nurses and medical technicians in these pages are front-line heroes. Highly recommended!" —Douglas Brinkley, Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities and Professor of History at Rice University, author of The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast

"A brilliantly imaginative and creative way of telling the story of today's America and the roots of what ails it, through the travails of a small-town hospital. In The Hospital, Brian Alexander does again so well what he did in Glass House—telling the big story from the small place." —Sam Quinones, author of Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic

"The Hospital
is a stunning achievement—closely observed, deeply compassionate and beautifully written. What 'The Wire' did for the Baltimore drug trade, The Hospital does for the business of healthcare in a struggling Rust Belt community... It's not just good—it's important." —Carl Elliott, MD, PhD, Professor, University of Minnesota Center for Bioethics

“Brian Alexander, a master storyteller, delivers an extraordinary tale about a community hospital fighting for its life in America’s heartland. He shows us why rural hospitals matter.” —Eric Eyre, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Death In Mud Lick

“In this clear-eyed biography of a community hospital, Brian Alexander offers a powerful indictment of the American health care system. The Hospital will break your heart.” —Andrea Pitzer, author of Icebound: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World

"The Hospital shows us the deep connections between health care, the economy, and people's lives. Brian Alexander masterfully weaves national history and events into the story of a small local hospital and its community. This book is devastating, gripping, and beautiful." —Beatrix Hoffman, Professor of History, Northern Illinois University and author of Health Care for Some

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250237354
ISBN-10: 1250237351
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: March 9th, 2021
Pages: 320
Language: English