Books Features

Book Forum––Introduction, Jeremy Greene’s “Generic”

This article is part of the following series:

Welcome to our inaugural “Book Forum.”  Our aim is simple: to promote lively exchange between a group of scholars and an author, allowing for experimental and inventive engagements that are not so much about evaluation but rather draw on concepts and shared commitments.  It’s probably worth noting that Somatosphere will continue to feature book reviews, which have been a mainstay from the beginning.  Our hope is that the forums will follow along a well-trod path made by the reviews, into new clearings.

Our first book is Jeremy Greene’s Generic: The Unbranding of Modern Medicine (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014).   Greene’s book is a dizzying historical-political-social-cultural account of the forms generic drugs have taken over past several decades.  The book is a story about the development and circulation of these drugs––their makers and consumers, advocates and detractors, within and between the domains of ethics and markets––as “generics” stir debate and catalyze change (seen and unseen, felt and unperceived) in the healthcare marketplace.

We hope you enjoy the forum.  We have more planned in the coming months, which will include books by Warwick Anderson, Sameena Mulla, Lisa Stevenson, and Christian McMillen.

Below are links to four brief comments on Generic written by Anne Pollock, Nancy Campbell, Joseph Dumit, and Stefan Ecks, as well as Jeremy Greene’s response to his interlocutors.  The entire forum is also available as a single pdf here and is embedded below.

Comments on: Greene, Jeremy. Generic: The Unbranding of Modern Medicine. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014.

Generic virtue and vice
Anne Pollock

Nostalgia is always about the present
Nancy Campbell

The Generic that is Right for You
Joseph Dumit

Generics and their Doppelgängers
Stefan Ecks

Response to comments:

the specificity of Generic
Jeremy Greene