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2020 by Eric Klinenberg
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2020 by Eric Klinenberg
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Feb 13, 2024 | ISBN 9780593825242 | 924 Minutes

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  • Feb 13, 2024 | ISBN 9780593825242

    924 Minutes

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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.”
Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker

“2020 is…a masterful piece of rigorous journalism, rigorous sociology, and incredible story-telling.”
—Chris Hayes, MSNBC News

“Covers an extraordinarily rich range of issues and insights, some of them familiar, others utterly fresh…One of the most striking expressions of America’s political brokenness that I’ve yet encountered.”
—Rick Perlstein, The American Prospect

“2020 reshaped our politics, unveiled cracks in our society and transformed the ways we work, live, and interact with each other. But we’ve never really reckoned with those changes. Eric Klinenberg has just released a wonderful book…that unpacks the ways that terrible year revealed what we value and changed how we interact. A beautiful book and one that, despite my initial anxiety, I’m really happy to have read.”
—Jon Favreau, Host of Pod Save America

“By bridging the gaps between individual, community and population, [Klinenberg] shows how pandemics alter society and exacerbate inequality. He follows the threads that connect the individual lived experience to the national phenomenon.” 
Laura Spinney, New Statesman

“I can easily see this book being invaluable in the future.”
Stuart Miller, Los Angeles Times

“Elegantly written and well researched.”
—The Economist

“When I think 2020, I think blur: social unrest, economic turbulence, all amplified and fueled by a world-historical pandemic. As someone who teaches at a public health school, I’ve wondered for a while what a book that successfully captured that year would look like. Eric Klinenberg’s 2020: One City, Seven People, and the Year Everything Changed is that book. It’s written with the critical distance we need to finally get our heads around it; the deep research to make it more than armchair analysis; and the ambitious sweep that brings fractured threads together.”
—Merlin Chowkwanyun, Public Books

“Remarkable . . . full of intriguing insights.”
Literary Review

“A call for thought and planning—and a shaming. Klinenberg…tells a factual story, of course. But the unexpectedly moving trick he pulls off—the way he humanizes statistics alternately chilling and numbing—is by writing profiles of seven New Yorkers grappling with the disease, both at work and at home.”
—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“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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