These are books that changed how I think as a health policy analyst. They inspired me, opened my mind, connected dots for me, taught me hard and soft skills, and told stories I didn’t know, including about Connecticut Medicaid.

Culling this list was hard. While the list is long, there’s more great books that didn’t make the cut. Start anywhere.


Making Numbers Count: The Art and Science of Communicating Numbers

Chip Health & Karla Starr, 2022


The Premonition: A Pandemic Story

Michael Lewis, 2021


Change: How to Make Big Things Happen

Damon Centola, 2021


You Have More Influence Than You Think

Vanessa Bohns, 2021


Which Country Has the World’s Best Health Care?

Ezekiel Emanuel, 2020


The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind

Jonah Berger, 2020


The Trillion Dollar Revolution: How the Affordable Care Act Transformed Politics, Law, and Health Care in America

Edited by Ezekiel J. Emanuel and Abbe Gluck, 2020


Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen

Dan Heath, 2020


Counting: How We Use Numbers to Decide What Matters

Deborah Stone, 2020


Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism

Anne Case and Angus Deaton, 2020


What the Eyes Don’t See

Mona Hanna-Attisha, 2018


The American Health Care Paradox: Why Spending More is Getting Us Less

Elizabeth Bradley, 2013


The Treatment Trap

Rosemary Gibson, 2011


No Pity: People with Disabilities Forging a New Civil Rights Movement

Joseph P. Shapiro, 1994


Bedlam: An Intimate Journey Into America’s Mental Health Crisis

Kenneth Paul Rosenberg, 2019


The Health Care Handbook: A Clear and Concise Guide to the United States Health Care System

Elisabeth Askin and Nathan Moore, 2024


Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us

Daniel Pink, 2009


Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present

Harriett A. Washington, 2007


Healthy Voices, Unhealthy Silence: Advocacy and Health Policy for the Poor

Coleen Grogan and Michael Gusmano, 2007


The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic – and How it Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World

Steven Johnson, 2007