*BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK*
Preventable tells the extraordinary story of COVID-19 and how global politics shape our health – from a world-leading expert and the pandemic’s go-to science communicator
Professor Devi Sridhar has risen to prominence for her vital roles in communicating science to the public and speaking truth to power. In Preventable she highlights lessons learned from outbreaks past and present in a narrative that traces the COVID-19 pandemic – including her personal experience as a scientist – and sets out a vision for how we can better protect ourselves from the inevitable health crises to come.
In gripping and heartfelt prose, Sridhar exposes the varied realities of those affected (from the jailed doctor in Wuhan who sounded the alarm, and the bored passengers marooned on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, to the daily nightmares of exhausted healthcare workers), and puts you in the room with key decision makers at crucial moments (from over-confident heads of states and their hesitant scientific advisors, to the beleaguered leaders of global health organisations).
Sridhar vibrantly conveys the twists and turns of a plot that saw: deadlier variants emerge (contrary to the predictions of social media pundits who argued it would mutate to a milder form); the Pyrrhic victory in many countries of the false narrative of health versus the economy (those countries which controlled the virus, like Taiwan and Denmark, had a steadier recovery); countries with weak health systems like Senegal and Vietnam fare better than countries like the US and UK (which were consistently ranked as the most prepared); and the quickest development of game-changing vaccines in history (and their unfair distribution).
Combining science, politics, ethics and economics, this definitive book dissects the global structures that determine our fate, and reveals the deep-seated economic and social inequalities at their heart – it will challenge, outrage and inspire.
‘A brutally compelling reminder that if voices like Devi’s had been listened to, so many more could have lived’ OWEN JONES
‘One of the most brilliant scientists in the world who has been proven consistently right in this crisis’ PIERS MORGAN
‘Excellent . . . Fair, clear and compelling’ NICOLA STURGEON
‘Those who have found Professor Devi Sridhar’s expertise and calm advice invaluable since the arrival of Covid-19 will be glad to know that she has written Preventable’ RACHEL COOKE, Guardian, Non-fiction to look out for in 2022
The sensational story of how a disaster was turned into a catastrophe, with the clarity, precision and humanity that you would expect from one of the most important voices of reason of the COVID era. A brutally compelling reminder that if voices like Devi's had been listened to, so many more could have lived -- Owen Jones Excellent . . . Fair, clear and compelling. And like all of Devi's contributions over the course of the pandemic, very accessible -- Nicola Sturgeon One of the most brilliant scientists in the world who has been proven consistently right in this crisis -- Piers Morgan Contributions such as Devi's will be the building blocks of the learning we need, as a global community, to create the awareness required for the healthier and safer world all people deserve -- Dr Tedros, Director-General of the World Health Organization Essential reading -- Lorraine Kelly Devi is a public health expert with deep knowledge and expertise in the field. She has a unique ability to translate complex public health challenges, research and recommendations into language experts and non-experts alike can understand. I always read and listen to what she has to say and I hope you will too -- Chelsea Clinton Brilliant. I read it like a thriller that I had lived through, a fascinating, detailed and personal account of the pandemic that takes you behind and beyond the headlines. I suspect it will be the most readable account of all the analyses that will follow -- Chris van Tulleken Sridhar's prescience transformed her into one of Britain's most prominent commentators once . . . In her new book, Preventable, Sridhar distils the lessons of the time -- George Eaton * New Statesman * Those who have found Professor Devi Sridhar's expertise and calm advice invaluable since the arrival of Covid-19 will be glad to know that she has written Preventable -- Rachel Cooke * Guardian, 'Nonfiction to look out for in 2022' * Devi Sridhar, professor of global public health at Edinburgh university, examines how the pandemic changed the world and how we might stop the next one happening * Financial Times, 'The books to read in 2022' *
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