AUDIO BOOK REVIEW: The Bodies Keep Coming by Brian H Williams

Publication Date: September 26, 2023
Format: audio 
Genre:  Biographies/Medical
Narrator: Brian H Williams 

Publisher: Dreamscape Media
 7 hours 40 minutes
Buy: Kindle | Audio


Trauma surgeon Dr. Brian H. Williams has seen it all—gunshot wounds, stabbings, traumatic brain injuries—and ushers us into the trauma bay, where the wounds of a national emergency amass. As a Harvard-trained physician, he learned to keep his head down and his scalpel ready. As a Black man, he learned to swallow rage when patients told him to take out the trash. 

Just days after the tragic police shootings of two Black men, he tried to save the lives of officers shot in the deadliest incident for US law enforcement since 9/11. Thrust into the spotlight in a nation that loves feel-good stories more than hard truths, he came to rethink everything he thought he knew about medicine, injustice, and what true healing looks like. 

Now, in raw, intimate detail, he narrates not only the events of that night, but the grief and anger of a Black doctor on the front lines of trauma care. Working in the physician-writer tradition of Gawande and Tweedy, he diagnoses the roots of the violence that plagues us. He draws a through line between white supremacy, gun violence, and the bodies he tries to revive, training his surgeon's gaze on the structural ills manifesting themselves in his patients' bodies. What if racism is a feature of our healthcare system, not a bug? What if profiting from racial inequality is exactly what it's designed to do? Black and brown bodies will continue to be wracked by all types of violence, Williams argues, until we transform policy and law with compassion and care.


I received a free copy of this book from Dreamscape Media through 

Dr. Williams makes his living trying to save victims of violence. Mostly black victims of violence. He sees what guns do to the human body, and to the families whose children, brothers, fathers etc don't survive. It is after one horrible day of trying to save multiple police officers after they were targeted at a peaceful protest that turned violent. That day haunts him, it is also the incident that thrust him into the spotlight. 

Dr. Williams is one of only a handful of black trauma surgeons and he sees what systemic racism in the USA has done to the healthcare system. Health inequality has lead to the deaths of more black individuals and those of lower income. But before we can solve that issue we also have to deal with gun violence and racism in the laws that govern guns. 

This book is intelligent, well laid out and honest. He shares his fight to navigate a profession that values black bodies as teaching tools instead of men and women. He struggles with his place in the continuing narrative of guns, racism and trauma. To me there couldn't be a better spokesperson than someone on the front line of this fight - the fight to save lives particularly those of black and brown people. 

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