Fighting for Life

Isabel Hardman


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Penguin Books Ltd
22 June 2023
ISBN: 9780241504345
384 pages

From the publisher

A gripping, provocative exploration of the NHS, told through the most critical moments in its history - published for the 75th anniversary of its foundation

'The book the NHS has always deserved' Andrew Marr
'Funny, intelligent and so beautifully written . . . a much-needed book' Chris van Tulleken
'Brilliant' Adam Kay

Since its foundation in 1948, the NHS has come to define our national identity; it even topped the "what makes Britain great" poll in 2022. It has made history (and the headlines) again and again - from cutting edge discoveries like the first 'test tube baby', to its heroic response to the Coronavirus crisis. But the NHS has also become a battleground for some of the fiercest political contests of our time, perceived either as a national treasure, or as a lumbering piece of state machinery in need of renovation.

In Fighting for Life, bestselling journalist Isabel Hardman cuts through the sentimentality and sloganeering on all sides of the political spectrum. Packed with gripping stories from the people at the beating heart of this venerated institution - its nurses, its doctors, its patients and the politicians who decide its fate - this is the essential book for understanding our NHS, and who we are as a nation.