What the Eyes Don't See Review

May 23, 2023
David Sunnyside

what the eyes dont see review


In the apt words of Dr. Seuss in The Lorax, “Nothing will get better until someone stands up and fights.” In What the Eyes Don’t See, Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician in Flint, Michigan, stood up against her state’s corrosion of truth to expose the lead poisoning of her city’s children. In a narrative that reads like a scientific thriller, this book is a tale of crisis, resistance, and hope.

Hanna-Attisha’s harrowing account of her crusade against the state of Michigan is told in the voice of a brilliant raconteur, with late-night number-crunching, slimy government officials, and inspired breakthroughs. But the book is more than just a narrative of one woman’s exemplary civic activism; it is also a memoir of a young immigrant family’s journey, and it addresses how systemic racism, broken democracy, and callous austerity policies put an entire city at risk.

Throughout, the book is underscored by the sense that it is not just the health of children that’s at stake; it’s all of our country’s future. The book’s title and central metaphor, drawn from a D. H. Lawrence quote, aptly describe the struggle Hanna-Attisha faced in getting colleagues to take her concerns seriously. The resulting book is an indictment of American cheapening of life and a blueprint for how to do the right thing.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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