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The Plague Year: America in the Time of Covid Kindle Edition
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"A book of panoramic breadth ... managing to surprise us about even those episodes we … thought we knew well … [With] lively exchanges about spike proteins and nonpharmaceutical interventions and disease waves, Wright’s storytelling dexterity makes all this come alive.” —The New York Times Book Review
From the fateful first moments of the outbreak in China to the storming of the U.S. Capitol to the extraordinary vaccine rollout, Lawrence Wright’s The Plague Year tells the story of Covid-19 in authoritative, galvanizing detail and with the full drama of events on both a global and intimate scale, illuminating the medical, economic, political, and social ramifications of the pandemic.
Wright takes us inside the CDC, where a first round of faulty test kits lost America precious time . . . inside the halls of the White House, where Deputy National Security Adviser Matthew Pottinger’s early alarm about the virus was met with confounding and drastically costly skepticism . . . into a Covid ward in a Charlottesville hospital, with an idealistic young woman doctor from the town of Little Africa, South Carolina . . . into the precincts of prediction specialists at Goldman Sachs . . . into Broadway’s darkened theaters and Austin’s struggling music venues . . . inside the human body, diving deep into the science of how the virus and vaccines function—with an eye-opening detour into the history of vaccination and of the modern anti-vaccination movement. And in this full accounting, Wright makes clear that the medical professionals around the country who’ve risked their lives to fight the virus reveal and embody an America in all its vulnerability, courage, and potential.
In turns steely-eyed, sympathetic, infuriated, unexpectedly comical, and always precise, Lawrence Wright is a formidable guide, slicing through the dense fog of misinformation to give us a 360-degree portrait of the catastrophe we thought we knew.
From the Publisher
“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 : 2470 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 386 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #259,689 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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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.
If this book was written in 2 years time with much of the dust having settled on the pandemic, I think Lawrence Wright would have more genuinely insightful data and conclusions to talk about.
This book was about… This book walks through the 2020 and what we experienced in America, the history, politics and the science.
Things I liked about this book… Lawrence uses her research knowledge and journalist skills to walk you through this year. He provides technical and personal information. There is a detailed index at the back of the book.
Why you should read this book… This book helps fill information that you’ve missed as we struggled through the year.
This book lived up to the inside cover copy… The inside cover information provides a high level insight to the content of the book.
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.
The author, Lawrence Wright is a careful reporter and analyst. His book 'The Looming Tower' is the definitive source for 9/11.
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.