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The Plague Year: America in the Time of Covid Kindle Edition
“Arresting . . . Lean-limbed, immersive . . . Rich with peerless reportage and incisive critique . . . Translates the complexities of epidemiology into plain English . . . Wright is at his commanding best . . . when he places the pandemic in historical context—his detours into the Black Plague and the 1918 Spanish flu are narrative marvels—and in his portraits of the players.” —Hamilton Cain, Minneapolis Star Tribune
“[An] incredibly-crafted telling . . . [Wright] is an earnest prober, with sober-minded curiosity . . . [He] provides a well-wrought map covering the institutions and politicians that failed America during this stretch of the pandemic [and] crucially highlights those that also saved us—the first responders and the reasonable.” —Eric Allen Been, The Boston Globe
“A master at knitting together complex narratives . . . Wright’s deep research reveals the oversights and errors that fatally hampered the US response to Covid . . . A story about hubris and division, complacency and insularity, but most of all precariousness.” —Andrew Anthony, The Guardian
“Insightful . . . Indispensable as a coronavirus compendium. Very little escapes Wright’s notice, and he is adept at placing the ongoing story in an enlightening context . . . The illuminating profiles include, among others, vaccine researchers Barney Graham and Jason McLellan; Bellevue Hospital doctor Barron Lerner; Univ. of Virginia professor and anesthesiologist Ebony Hilton; and from the Trump Administration, National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger and Coronavirus Response Coordinator Deborah Birx.” —Michael King, The Austin Chronicle
“A valuable, readable early contribution to what will inevitably become a substantial body of work on the pandemic . . . The Plague Year is to be commended for both its compassion and its anger.” —Ben Clarke, Chicago Review of Books
“Nailed down by one of our finest writers, the story is almost unbelievable . . . A dramatic, comprehensive account.” —Joseph Barbato, New York Journal of Books
“Taut, thriller-like, The Plague Year captures the chaos and courage of this unprecedented era that’s forever changed us.” —Oprah Daily
“By far the best book yet on COVID-19 . . . [An] exemplary chronicle [with] countless examples of hope, sacrifice, and heroic feats. Wright’s interviews with experts in virology, economics, public health, history, politics, and medicine are enlightening . . . Wright is at his finest here in frontline research, expert analysis, and lucid writing.” —Tony Miksanek, Booklist (starred review)
“Maddening and sobering—as comprehensive an account of the first year of the pandemic as we’ve yet seen . . . In his characteristically rigorous and engrossing style, Wright documents innumerable episodes of ineptitude and malfeasance even as Trump officials such as Peter Navarro privately reckoned that ‘a full-blown . . . pandemic could infect as many as 100 million Americans.’” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
About the Author
- ASIN : B08SVQDY43
- Publisher : Knopf (June 8, 2021)
- Publication date : June 8, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 1405 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 289 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #108,835 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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It is hard to believe Wright was able to put this book together so quickly, but 1.) he his a highly skilled author, who showed, in The Looming Tower, that he can follow a complex story to its conclusion and 2.) he had just published a novel, The End of October, a thriller that describes a world rocked by a pandemic, so he may have had a lot of the background research already completed.
The book's title is The Plague Year, not the Plague, so we get a lot about the impact of the disease, as well as the disease itself. We get a chapter on George Floyd's death and the BLM marches, for example. We see how effective Operation WarpSpeed was in developing very effective vaccines very quickly. Even as the Trump Administration devolved into magical thinking. Dr. Deborah Birx comes off better than I expected, but my low expectations of Peter Navarro were confirmed.
Overall, this is far superior as a portrait of America during CoVid than Michael Lewis' book, The Premonition, although in fairness to Lewis, I am not sure that was what he was really attempting. Highly recommended.
The Plague Year is more of an interesting survey of all these different aspects which tie back to Covid itself. Parts of the story really grabbed me as a reader and other aspects fell somewhat flat, but that is to be expected when the subject matter has this many strands. The narrative itself is tight and contained at 270 pages, but it feels more like the opening salvo in what is sure to be just one of the first words on the Covid 19 pandemic and the utter craziness of the last year.
It’s a solid read, but feels like more of a general “this is the year we lived through” rather than a large scale account of the pandemic.
- you will learn nothing new. Like nothing.
- the chapter on the George Floyd protests is offensive AF and so insanely tone deaf the rest of the book is garbage to me. I’m having trouble finishing it I found it that offensive.
If you can get past those two things, knock yourself out. But we also just lived through this like JUST lived through it so not sure we need a recap.
2. Most of the footnotes or references are from liberally biased newspapers. There’s one I can’t find listed as being from the NYT. Perhaps it’s a misprint.
I’m a Wright fan, but something tells me this book is heavily weighted to the left’s point of view. I want to like this book, but not if it’s politically motivated and will start blaming the Trump Administration for China’s knowingly unleashing this virus (Wright admits that) by silencing their doctors, scientists, etc., allowing people to travel to the states to celebrate The Chinese New Year, and the list goes on. Even Pelosi and some in NYC encouraged people to attend those celebrations. Hopefully, I’ll get that far in the book to read he blames them, too. If it’s one sided, that will be the end of my reading anything Wright writes.
Top reviews from other countries
Lawrence Wright provides a whirlwind review of the events during the pandemic year including the perspectives of a diverse group of people involved. Although most of what he writes was already known from contemporary newspaper articles, his book is a useful survey of what happened. My main criticism is that the book did not provide enough depth on many topics.