Books on Corporations and Health from 2012

Need one more late holiday gift for a fellow investigator of corporations and health? Looking for something to read yourself on those long dark January nights?  Need some sobering books to relieve too much holiday good cheer and rampant consumerism? This year brought a spate of new books examining the impact of corporations on health.  Here are ten that caught my eye over the last year. 


Paul M. Barrett. Glock: The Rise of America’s Gun.  Crown.                         

The story of the company that makes America’s gun, the favorite of cops and serial killers. 

Sharon Y. Eubanks, Stanton A. Glantz. Bad Acts: The Racketeering Case Against the Tobacco Industry.  American Public Health Association.

The inside story of the legal and political battles against tobacco corporations by Sharon Eubanks,  the lead counsel for the United States in the largest civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) enforcement action ever filed, United States v. Philip Morris, et al.,  and veteran tobacco researchers Stanton Glantz. 

Jeremy A. Greene, Elizabeth Siegel Watkins. (Editors) Prescribed: Writing, Filling, Using, and Abusing the Prescription in Modern America.  Johns Hopkins University Press.  

In this edited collection, ten historians examine the role of prescription drugs in the last half of the twentieth century and analyze how drug companies, physicians and patients use and abuse prescription drugs.   


Katherine Gustafson.  Change Comes to Dinner How Vertical Farmers, Urban Growers, and Other Innovators Are Revolutionizing How America Eats.  St Martin’s Griffin.    

The author searches for alternatives to the corporate-driven food system and describes some promising local initiatives.   

Gerard Hastings.  The Marketing Matrix: How the Corporation Gets Its Power – And How We Can Reclaim It.  Routledge.                                                    

A UK marketing professor argues that we live in the simulated world created by the Marketing Matrix and suggests how we might escape its power. 

Martin Lindstrom.  Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy.  Kogan Page.                                                     

A marketing insider reveals the strategies advertisers use to persuade us to buy their products.

Robert Proctor.  Golden Holocaust: Origins of the Cigarette Catastrophe and the Case for Abolition.  University of California Press.                                  

Stanford historian presents a history of the tobacco industry in the twentieth century and makes the case for a ban on the manufacture and sale of cigarettes.


Ralph Nader.  The Seventeen Solutions Bold Ideas for Our American Future.  Harper. 

The founder of the modern consumer movement describes the problems America faces and offers seventeen solutions, several focused on changing corporations. 


David Stuckler and Karen Siegel. (Editors and Authors). Sick Societies: Responding to the global challenge of chronic disease Oxford University Press.

This edited collection synthesizes the evidence on the rise of chronic diseases and assesses the role of government, business, and corporations in the etiology and prevention of chronic disease. 

Bill Vlasic. Once Upon a Car: The Fall and Resurrection of America’s Big Three Automakers–GM, Ford, and Chrysler. William Morrow.                                    

An account of the collapse and government-supported resurrection of the domestic auto industry by the Detroit bureau chief for the New York Times.