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Michael Fine, MD, is a writer, community organizer, and family physician. He is the chief health strategist for the City of Central Falls, RI, and Senior Clinical and Population Health Services Officer for Blackstone Valley Community Health Care, Inc., and recipient of many local and nation awards He was director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, 2011–2015. He’s worked all over the nation and the world, from the South Bronx to Appalachia to Liberia and Kenya.

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Author: Michael Fine
Publisher: PM Press/ Spectacular Fiction
ISBN: 978-1-62963-644-3
Published: 04/01/2019
Format: Paperback
Size: 5x8
Page count: 348
Subjects: Fiction
Julia is an American medical doctor fleeing her own privileged background to find a new life delivering health care to African villages, where her skills can make a difference. Carl is also an American, whose very different experiences as a black man in the United States have driven him into exile in West Africa, where he is an international NGO expat. The two come together as colleagues (and then more) as Liberia is gripped in a brutal civil war. Child soldiers kidnap Julia on a remote jungle road, and Carl is evacuated against his will by U.S. Marines. Back in the United States he finds Julia’s mentor, Levin, a Rhode Island MD whose Sixties idealism has been hijacked by history. Then they meet the thief. Then they meet the smuggler. And the dangerous work of finding and rescuing Julia begins.

An unforgettable thriller grounded in real events.

“Michael Fine’s novel, Abundance, is a riveting, suspenseful tale of love, violence, adventure, idealism, sometimes-comic cynicism, class conflict and crime . . . a story that displays both the deep disconnect between the First and Third Worlds and our commonalities.”
—Robert Whitcomb, former finance editor of the International Herald Tribune and former editorial page editor of The Providence Journal.

“Michael Fine takes us into the heart of a country at war with itself. But our journey, in battered Land Rovers, along potholed red dirt roads, is propelled by love, not hate. That love offers hope for Liberia, our often forgotten sister country, and anyone who confronts despair. Read Abundance. Reignite your own search for a life worth living.”
—Martha Bebinger, WBUR

“A powerful first novel—an epic stretching from the civil wars of Liberia to the streets of Rhode Island. A joy to read!”
—Paul J. Stekler, Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker

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Health Care Revolt: How to Organize, Build a Health Care System, and Resuscitate Democracy—All at the Same Time
Author: Michael Fine • Foreword: Bernard Lown and Ariel Lown Lewiton
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 978-1-62963-581-1
Published: 09/01/2018
Format: Paperback
Size: 5.5x8.5
Page count: 192
Subjects: Politics-Activism / Health Care

The U.S. does not have a health system. Instead we have market for health-related goods and services, a market in which the few profit from the public’s ill-health.

Health Care Revolt looks around the world for examples of health care systems that are effective and affordable, pictures such a system for the U.S., and creates a practical playbook for a political revolution in health care that will allow the nation to protect health while strengthening democracy.

Dr. Fine writes with the wisdom of a clinician, the savvy of a state public health commissioner, the precision of a scholar, and the energy and commitment of a community organizer.


“This is a revolutionary book. The author incites readers to embark on an audacious revolution to convert the American medical market into the American health care system.”
—T.P. Gariepy, Stonehill College/CHOICE connect

“Michael Fine is one of the true heroes of primary care over several decades.”
—Dr. Doug Henley, CEO and executive vice president of the American Academy of Family Physicians

“As Rhode Island’s director of health, Dr. Fine brought a vision of a humane, local, integrated health care system that focused as much on health as on disease and treatment.”
—U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

“Michael Fine has given us an extraordinary biopic on health care in America based on the authority of his forty-year career as writer, community organizer, family physician, and public health official.”
—Fitzhugh Mullan, MD

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What Others are Saying

abundanceAbundance: A Motif Review
By Michael Bilow

June 5th, 2019

Fine is careful to supply cultural background. He includes a non-fiction preface explaining the founding of Liberia in 1820 by free blacks from the US, organizing the country along the model they know from home at the time, complete with these “Americo-Liberian” immigrants becoming de facto slave masters. Fine often employs dialect in “Liberian Kreyol, also called Liberian Pidgin, which is a trading language based on English and Portuguese that has been used for three hundred years,” and he includes a glossary. There’s even a non-fiction appendix that discusses, among other things, the rumors that brutal Liberian dictator (and subsequently convicted war criminal) Charles Taylor at one point lived in Pawtucket.

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abundanceAbundance in Booktrib
By Jon Land
May 20th, 2019

Rhode Islander Michael Fine’s suavely and elegantly fashioned Abundance (PM Press) puts Liberia center stage instead of the Ocean State.

That’s where Dr. Julie Richmond has gone in search of meaning and fulfillment to make up for a life too easily and richly led, landing smack dab in the midst of a civil war. She’s barely got her feet on the ground when she’s kidnapped by a Lord of the Flies-like menagerie of miniature soldiers whose assault rifles pack no less of a punch. As the resulting diplomatic crisis escalates, both friend and foe alike swing into action, while Julie comes to shattering realizations about herself and the world around her.

The sparsely simple prose evokes a thriller-esque take on Ernest Hemingway, especially combined with the kind of setting Papa was known for taking on. A thinking man’s thriller that makes Fine the Ocean State’s own John Le Carré.

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healthHealth Care Revolt -- Michael Fine on The Publics Radio
By Scott MacKay
The Publics Radio
April 10th, 2019

Dr. Michael Fine led the Rhode Island Department of Health under Governor Lincoln Chafee. He now works for Blackstone Valley Community Health Care and has a new book about the health care system in the United States, Health Care Revolt: How to Organize, Build a Health Care System, and Resuscitate Democracy—All at the Same Time. He talked with political analyst for The Public’s Radio Scott MacKay about rising health care costs and what he sees as a lack of direction in the nation’s health care system.

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healthHealth Care Revolt -- Reflections on Democracy and Medicine
By Gregory Stevens
The Medical Care Blog

February 28, 2019

Perhaps this is why I so appreciate Dr. Fine’s closing arguments about democracy and medicine:

“Democracy happens when we act up.  That’s what democracy is, and a political revolution in health care is both democracy in action and exactly how we can bring democracy back to life.” (p. 120)

I’m not leaving this book on the shelf as wasted ammunition.

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healthDr. Michael Fine Goes on a Health Care Revolt
By Tanya Feke
Diagnosis Life

September 19th, 2018

"Health Care Revolt is not only a rant about what is wrong, it also finds hope in what is right. Dr. Fine looks at public health programs, past and present, and points out policies that were able to make impactful changes. He also uses a critical eye to show why some of those programs fizzled out and what it would take to keep the momentum building."

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healthFor Dr. Michael Fine, healthcare is necessary for a stronger democracy
By Michael Monasky
November 5th, 2018

"If Dr. Michael Fine had his way, he would see and care for everyone free of charge: no cost for maternal care and newborn deliveries, vaccinations, all doctor visits; free or nearly free medications, treatments, and necessary special medical care.

State-licensed doctors, nurses, therapists, healthcare workers, and other ancillary workers would all be paid pretty much what they make now. University-level health education would be without charge to students. Every place would have a clinic, open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day for delivering care as needed by people in their community."

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healthWhy One Physician Is Calling For a 'Health Care Revolt'
By Deborah Becker and Chris Citorik
October 23rd, 2018

"Dr. Michael Fine believes that the for-profit model has completely corrupted our health care system and that addressing these concerns could be the most important issue facing our country.

He joins us to discuss how we got here, the obstacles preventing true reform, and how he believes we can still create a health care system that serves everyone."

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healthFormer R.I. health director Michael Fine issues clarion call for health care reform
By G. Wayne Miller
Providence Journal
September 6th, 2018

"Whether you work in health care or just want good health, and that covers pretty much everyone, “Health Care Revolt” is a must-read. We deserve better than the expensive and ineffective mess we have now."

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healthHealth Care Revolt: A Review
Publishers Weekly
August 2018

In this trenchant and accessible diagnosis of the ills plaguing American healthcare, Fine, a family physician and former director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, argues that America has “a healthcare market, not a healthcare system”—and everyone is worse off because of it. Fine persuasively demonstrates that the profit motive built into the patchwork of federal, state, and local programs that pass for healthcare in the U.S. leads to ballooning costs, gross inefficiency, and treatment for the privileged few instead of cost-effective prevention for the many. He cites community healthcare programs in places like Mound Bayou, Miss., and Huntingdon County, N.J., as examples of how health systems designed to address the needs of the small areas in which they are situated, as identified by members of those communities, can improve health outcomes just as much, if not more, than advances in medicine. Indeed, the book touts the importance of education, healthy food, and primary care centers embedded in dense community networks over specialized medical care, mounting a sustained critique of pharmaceutical companies who shill for drugs that people don’t need. America isn’t Finland, Fine admits, but the Finnish province of North Karelia had a mortality rate similar to that of the U.S. until changes were made in its healthcare system, after which heart disease rates fell by 80% and life expectancy grew by six years. This book is an informative, insightful introduction to a complex topic.

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healthDr. Michael Fine: Crony Capitalism Is Bad For Your Health
By Ariel Lewiton
October 5th, 2017

"Dr. Fine’s vision of health and healthcare is localized, community-based, and integrative: not just avoiding or managing illness, but supporting education, affordable housing, public transportation, and sustainable resources—elements that link to health in surprising ways. The cornerstone of Fine’s own healthcare strategy is the neighborhood health station, a facility that aims to provide almost all the care that patients need, in one place. Last fall, he and his team broke ground on the Central Falls Neighborhood Health Station, the first of its kind in the nation.

In a series of conversations in person and over the phone, I spoke with Dr. Fine about the current crisis of American healthcare, the inspiration behind his work, and what healthcare workers and ordinary citizens can do to create the healthcare system we need."

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