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John A Rich Publishes New Book on Trauma and Violence in the Lives of Young Black Men

December 23, 2009

John A. Rich Publishes New Book on Trauma and Violence in the Lives of Young Black Men
Drexel University’s Dr. John A. Rich, a professor in the University’s School of Public Health and chair of the department of Health Management and Policy, has written a new book Wrong Place, Wrong Time: Trauma and Violence in the Lives of Young Black Men, published by Johns Hopkins University Press.

The book is the outcome of Rich’s experiences during medical school in Boston where he was taught how to deal with physical trauma in a big city hospital but not with the disturbing fact that young black men were daily shot, stabbed and beaten. The book is Rich’s account of his personal search to find sense in the juxtaposition of his life and theirs. Mixing his own perspective with their seldom-heard voices, Rich relates the stories of young black men whose lives were violently disrupted and of their struggles to heal and remain safe in an environment that denied their trauma and blamed them for their injuries.

He introduces readers to people such as Roy, a former drug dealer who fought to turn his life around and found himself torn between the ease of returning to the familiarity of life on the violent streets of Boston and the tenuous promise of accepting a new, less dangerous one.

A 2006 MacArthur Fellow “genius” award recipient, Rich founded the Young Men’s Health Clinic in Boston and is the former medical director of the Boston Public Health Commission. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2009.

Below: what critics have to say about the book:

“John Rich joins the ranks of Rachel Carson, Michael Harrington and Ralph Nader for bringing attention to a pervasive social problem with a fresh perspective and warranted urgency.” —Publishers Weekly

“John Rich was selected for a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 2006, and his incisive book demonstrates why. Replete with poignant vignettes, this book unveils his findings. Not surprisingly, he exposes the deep human sensitivity of his subjects. Highly recommended for readers of urban sociology texts such as Nicholas Lemann’s The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How It Changed America.” —Library Journal

For more information on the book or to schedule an interview with Dr. Rich, please contact the Drexel University News Bureau at 215-895-6741 or 215-778-7752.


News Media Contacts: Niki Gianakaris, director, Drexel News Bureau 215-895-6741, 215-778-7752 (cell) or

Christina Cheakalos, John Hopkins University Press 410-516-6939,

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