Such a Time of It They Had is history that reads like a story: it is popular history and academic history...and also medical history, focused on global health. It is a fascinating saga, if often a sordid one. According to Dr. Downing: "Many of the global health pioneers in this book were global health heroes in their day; a few were global health villains. We don't need more global health heroes-or villains." Looking back at global health in Africa, and his own thirty years on the continent, Dr. Downing insists on reflecting on global health as it relates to patients. This is an extremely important story-a cautionary tale heavy with experiences both old and new-and his is a vital perspective.