At times, it seems as though virtually everything we eat and drink is denounced as bad for us by some "public health expert." Americans today are living longer than they ever have before. Why the almost daily announcements of new public health threats and proclamations of impending crises? Bennett and DiLorenzo address this question and others here. They begin by examining the large public health bureaucracy, its preoccupation with expanding governmental programs, and its concern with political issues that too often have little to do with improving public health. Then they trace the evolution of the American public health movement from its founding after the Civil War to the 1950s. They describe the transformation of public health’s focus from the eradication of disease to social policy as a by-product of the 1960s.