The Book

When People Come First critically assesses the expanding field of global health. The book brings together an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars to address the medical, social, political, and economic dimensions of the global health enterprise through vivid case studies and bold conceptual work. It demonstrates the crucial role of ethnography as an empirical lantern in global health, arguing for a more comprehensive, people-centered approach.

On this site, we provide excerpts from the book as well as new materials to enhance the reader’s learning experience.

You can read João Biehl and Adriana Petryna’s introductory essay Critical Global Health and their Overviews of the book’s three sections: Evidence, Interventions, Markets.

The book grew out of intense field research and creative conversations and you can read the group’s lively and unpublished Dialogues about each chapter by clicking on chapter titles next to the Overviews.

We also provide questions that can help guide discussions of the themes presented in the introduction, case studies, and the afterword. You will find those questions in the Educator’s Corner.

Table of Contents (pdf)