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How Covid Shook the World's Economy

Adam Tooze



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Allen Lane
14 September 2021
From the author of Crashed comes a short, high-speed history of how Covid-19 ravaged the global economy, and where it leaves us now

When the news first began to trickle out of China about a new virus in December 2019, risk-averse financial markets were alert to its potential for disruption. Yet they could never have predicted the total economic collapse that would follow in COVID-19's wake, as stock markets fell faster and harder than at any time since 1929, currencies across the world plunged, investors panicked, and even gold was sold.

In a matter of weeks, the world's economy was brought to an abrupt halt by governments trying to contain a spiralling public health catastrophe. Flights were grounded; supply chains broken; industries from tourism to oil to hospitality collapsed overnight, leaving hundreds of millions of people unemployed. Central banks responded with unprecedented interventions, just to keep their economies on life-support. For the first time since the second world war, the entire global economic system contracted.

This book tells the story of that shutdown. We do not yet know how this story ends, or what new world we will find on the other side. In this fast-paced, compelling and at times shocking analysis, Adam Tooze surveys the wreckage, and looks at where we might be headed next.
Imprint:   Allen Lane
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 26mm
Weight:   446g
ISBN:   9780241501771
ISBN 10:   0241501776
Pages:   320
Publication Date:  
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Adam Tooze is the author of the highly praised Crashed, The Deluge and The Wages of Destruction, all published by Allen Lane. He has been the recipient of the Wolfson Prize for History, the Longman-History Today Book of the Year Prize and the Lionel Gelber Prize. Tooze has taught at Cambridge and Yale and is now Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of History at Columbia University.

Reviews for Shutdown: How Covid Shook the World's Economy

A complex story, which Tooze tells with clarity and verve... The world is unlikely to be treated to a better account of the economics of the pandemic. * The Times * Shutdown is a seriously impressive book, both endlessly quotable and rigorously analytical. Tooze synthesises a huge volume of information to argue that we must prepare for a new wave of crises or risk being sunk by them. Hopefully, governments everywhere will heed his warning. -- Oliver Bullough * The Guardian * Mr Tooze displays a remarkable ability to master the detail ... This is truly a picture of the global impact of the crisis; it covers the disruption in the financial markets, as well as the ins and outs of government policy. * The Economist * Fascinating, informative and wise. * Times Literary Supplement * An admirable work of synthesis and original analysis from the pre-eminent diagnostician of our age of discontents. * New Statesman * What sets [Shutdown] apart is Tooze's ability to keep his eye on the big picture - and the long view ... There will be plenty more books to come on the global economy of 2020. Few will be as timely, as wide-ranging or as clear as Shutdown. -- Duncan Weldon * Prospect * [A] brilliant, bracing account of the Covid pandemic and its protracted political aftermath ... Nuanced and wide-ranging. Tooze has the impressive ability, as a writer, to contextualise historical events as they unfold. -- Jamie Maxwell * The Herald * To read Shutdown feels like sitting alongside the great professor while he feverishly collates an array of data and anecdotes, attempts to chronicle what is going on, his head fizzing with ideas about what it might all mean and where it might be leading ... a fine use of one's time. -- Bill Emmott * Financial Times * Of all the instant histories spawned by the pandemic, this is the closest we'll get to a thriller ... it's a story that bears rereading ... a survival guide for the next man-made cataclysm that Adam Tooze warns will surely come soon. -- Patrick Maguire * The Times * A comprehensive history of an unprecedented year ... Readers will find this deeply informed parsing of the pandemic to be illuminating and thought-provoking. * Publishers Weekly * Tooze examines the unprecedented decision of governments around the world to shutter their economies in the face of pandemic ... As the pandemic hopefully continues to fade, other crises remain. This book is a valuable forecast of future problems. * Kirkus *

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