James Panero, moderator

see "At the Center of the Epidemic" (City Journal)

Join Van Alen Book Club for a boozy Sunday brunch edition of our monthly discussions of books on the urban experience. As part of our fall festival, u feel ok?: Health & NYC, we’re reading the turbulent chronicles of the oldest public hospital in the United States as told by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Oshinsky. Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America’s Most Storied Hospital explores the complex history of the hospital from its founding in 1736 as a six-bed almshouse and pesthouse, maligned over time as a site of degradation and death, to its evolution into a revered institution offering outstanding services for all. Oshinsky tasks us to reflect on how cities respond to diseases and proffer humane medical services, and offers valuable lessons for reconsidering present-day metropolitan health systems through his depiction of the hospital’s enduring commitment to treat the underserved.