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2020 by Eric Klinenberg
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2020 by Eric Klinenberg
Hardcover $32.00
Feb 13, 2024 | ISBN 9780593319482

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“In Eric Klinenberg’s excellent 2020, we are given both micro-incident—closely reported scenes from the lives of representative New Yorkers struggling through the plague year—and macro-comment: cross-cultural, overarching chapters assess broader social forces . . . Throughout, Klinenberg’s mixture of closeup witness and broad-view sociology is engrossing, and reminds this reader of the late Howard S. Becker’s insistence that the best sociology is always, in the first instance, wide-angle reporting. As we flow effortlessly from big picture to small, we learn from both.” The New Yorker

“A gripping, deeply moving account of a signal year in modern history, told through the stories of seven ordinary people trying to survive at the epicenter of the crisis. Klinenberg’s narrative not only exposes the social fault lines that made 2020 epically traumatic but also shows how the legacy of that year continues to shape us, our politics and our personal lives.”
—Siddhartha Mukherjee, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies

“In 2020, Eric Klinenberg explores the meaning and impact of the pandemic through the experiences of seven New Yorkers who lived through it. The result is a book that’s at once intimate and far-ranging, a work that reveals the importance of social solidarity and also its fragility.”
―Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction

“A sociological investigation of an unforgettable year. Klinenberg profiles a radicalized bar manager, a determined school principal, and a cast of Americans whose stories reveal how 2020 reshaped life in the United States. By asking fresh questions—Why did crime and social division spike in the U.S. but not elsewhere? How did masks get so politicized?—2020 compellingly reveals what the pandemic laid bare about our culture, our institutions, and ourselves.“
—Matthew Desmond, best-selling author of Poverty, by America and Evicted

“Klinenberg…compiles a superb ‘social autopsy’ of turbulent 2020, investigating how institutions, societies, and political leadership cracked….This exceptional discussion of the chaos and catastrophe of COVID-19 ranks alongside Lawrence Wright’s The Plague Year (2021) as essential reading on the subject. Let’s hope that the experience of 2020 has bestowed upon us 20/20 lucidity, resolve, and solidarity moving forward.”
Booklist, Starred Review

“Rigorously researched….[Klinenberg] pays tribute to people’s resilience and generous responses in the face of terrible odds, via profiles of seven individuals….Engrossing, this book captures the lingering uncertainty that has characterized the COVID pandemic, while assessing its global effects and likely future challenges. This vital title has breadth.”
Library Journal, Starred Review

“Riveting…a vivid and nuanced account.”
Publishers Weekly

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