The Premonition: A Pandemic Story - Michael Lewis

The Premonition: A Pandemic Story

By Michael Lewis

  • Release Date: 2021-05-04
  • Genre: Political Science
4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 522 Ratings)

Description

New York Times Bestseller

For those who could read between the lines, the censored news out of China was terrifying. But the president insisted there was nothing to worry about.

Fortunately, we are still a nation of skeptics. Fortunately, there are those among us who study pandemics and are willing to look unflinchingly at worst-case scenarios. Michael Lewis’s taut and brilliant nonfiction thriller pits a band of medical visionaries against the wall of ignorance that was the official response of the Trump administration to the outbreak of COVID-19.

The characters you will meet in these pages are as fascinating as they are unexpected. A thirteen-year-old girl’s science project on transmission of an airborne pathogen develops into a very grown-up model of disease control. A local public-health officer uses her worm’s-eye view to see what the CDC misses, and reveals great truths about American society. A secret team of dissenting doctors, nicknamed the Wolverines, has everything necessary to fight the pandemic: brilliant backgrounds, world-class labs, prior experience with the pandemic scares of bird flu and swine flu…everything, that is, except official permission to implement their work.

Michael Lewis is not shy about calling these people heroes for their refusal to follow directives that they know to be based on misinformation and bad science. Even the internet, as crucial as it is to their exchange of ideas, poses a risk to them. They never know for sure who else might be listening in.

Reviews

  • Cassandra of Troy in 2020

    5
    By ornwen
    The most Cassandra of Troy story since Cassandra herself. People who devoted professional YEARS OF THEIR LIVES to defending the US from a pandemic were just… brushed aside. For politics. In the White House, and Sacramento. I’m sure if Lewis had scratched the surface anywhere, he would have found even more people who could have mitigated the disaster COVID-19 became. An amazing read with a disquieting end.
  • Timely & Important

    5
    By Dad Review abs
    In an age when civil servants are publicly derided with tweets and screams for trying to save people’s lives, we need a complete story to understand their care and bravery. This book gets to the history of the characters fighting the COVID pandemic while the disease is still killing people. Give this book to every government employee you know and let them know that many of us appreciate and respect them when they try to do their job with dignity. We rely on public employees who gain no glory and only criticism for doing jobs that make us safer and healthier. If we are going to rise to the challenges ahead we need to change this dynamic.
  • The Premonition - Skip It

    2
    By PubHealthMD
    Deeply disappointing relative to other books by Lewis. The author does touch on some of the failures of the CDC, but misses many other critical examples of their ineptitude. (Example: The CDC had stocked only 1% of the necessary N95 face masks in the $8 billion US strategic national stockpile. Instead, in the years leading up to 2020, CDC chose to stockpile a bunch of high priced items that were unlikely to ever be needed in a health crisis. ASPR took a lot of blame for the stockpile, but insiders know CDC was equally, if not more, at fault.) Lewis also fails to give credit to Trump for any good decisions. For example, Trump closed borders (CDC was vehemently opposed to this decision despite the fact that it was important.) More importantly, Lewis never mentions Operation Warp Speed, which was an unprecedented public health achievement…again spearheaded by Trump. It doesn’t matter if you do or do not like Trump - be honest about who did what, and who was really at fault, if you are going to write a book about COVID. It seemed bizarre to fully omit the OWS story and impact. The book just seemed way too influenced by the author’s political bias. He left out huge pieces of the story if it didn’t fit his narrative.
  • Literally everyone should read this book

    5
    By nkatz1
    . Fascinating, terrifying, honest and illuminating, it will help you understand what we all lived through (and why so many didn’t make it) during the Pandemic.
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    2
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  • Explains a lot

    5
    By OverG
    For those who want to know, this book gives insight to the workings of our government, and the progressive manipulation of science by politics. The direction we are going is scary, but not new in history. It is a little biased, but humans are, and it is the author’s privilege.
  • Fascinating

    5
    By RCACHICAGO
    Wow what a ride! When I finished the book I had a great sense of gratitude for all the brilliant people who worked so hard to try and prevent the loss of so many lives. At the same time I again felt the anger towards the many government institutions who failed us because of the bureaucracies we citizens have allowed to be created for our selfish ends. Friends and family are dead and we Americans are responsible. But again there’s a sense of hope that with all these fantastic selfless individuals and knowledge and determination they share, that we can an will do better in the next crisis.
  • Fantastic storytelling

    5
    By flyingwiththewind
    Lewis interweaves seemingly unrelated stories into a seamless narrative that breaks down the complex not-so-long-ago-history leading up to and through America’s pandemic response. Highly recommend.
  • A must read

    5
    By cdmadwis
    This latest book by Michael Lewis should be read by all those who think Covid is a hoax rather than the third most common cause of death in th U.S. in 2020.
  • Interesting BUT not his best

    3
    By Bamancal
    2020 rewind. Many of the characters seem like truly great people yet this whole booked seemed like he needed something to do during the pandemic.

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