Viking has pre-empted an “important and illuminating” book on the politics of pandemics by Professor Devi Sridhar.
Assistant editor Assallah Tahir bought world rights for Preventable: The Politics of Pandemics and How to Stop the Next One from Andrew Gordon at David Higham. It will be published in summer 2022.
Drawing on the recent history of outbreaks, including coronavirus, Preventable examines the triggers behind global health crises and why we so often get our response to them wrong. The synopsis states: “Comparing the spread of Covid-19 in various parts of the world, Sridhar explores why countries such the US and the UK have—against expectations—suffered losses far worse than their poorer neighbours, and how the memory of former outbreaks led to very different outcomes in South Korea and West Africa. Combining science, politics, ethics and economics, it is a dazzling dissection of the global structures that determine our fate, and the deep-seated economic and social inequalities at their heart. Highlighting lessons learned from past and present, Sridhar sets out a vision for how we can better protect ourselves from the inevitable health crises to come.”
Devi Sridhar is Professor of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, where she leads the Global Governance Health Programme. As a Rhodes Scholar she holds an M Phil and a D Phil from the the University of Oxford, where she was an Associate Professor in Global Health Politics. She has served as a policy advisor for the Scottish, UK and German government, WHO, UNICEF and UNESCO. Sridhar has regularly appeared on Channel 4, the BBC and CNN during the pandemic and written extensively for the Guardian. She co-wrote a 2017 academic book with Chelsea Clinton, Governing Global Health: Who Runs the World and Why (OUP) but this will be her first trade book.
She said: “I’m delighted to be joining the Viking and Penguin team and to be working closely with my editor Assallah Tahir and my agent Andrew Gordon given our shared vision for the book. Covid-19 has exposed deep inequalities within our global society, as well as diverse government responses balancing health, economic, ethical, political and moral concerns. This book combines an analytical lens on key individuals, events and policy decisions with inside knowledge as a scientist running a research team and as an advisor to governments and the World Health Organization.”
Tahir added: “Devi is the go-to expert on the pandemic. I have followed her work over the last few months with huge admiration and am thrilled to be publishing her book, which will take a step back to look at the crisis from a broader perspective. Covid-19 has turned our expectations of the way the world works upside down, and this book moves seamlessly between history, economics and science to explain why that is, what went wrong, and what we can learn from it. It will outrage and inspire you.”