Best Business Books 2021: The pandemic rewrites geopolitics

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Shutdown: How COVID Shook the World’s Economy

by Adam Tooze (Viking, 2021)


Crashed, Adam Tooze’s seminal 2018 history of the global financial crisis and its aftermath, ends with an air of foreboding. “Can we achieve perpetual stability and peace?” asks Tooze, a historian at Columbia University. “Or must we rely on the balance of terror and the judgment of technicians and generals?” Scarcely a year after the book’s publication, cases of a strange new respiratory virus began to appear in Wuhan, China. The pandemic has likely killed more than 4.5 million people so far, and it has undoubtedly subjected the world’s political and economic institutions to the severest of tests. And even though COVID-19 is not yet done wreaking its havoc, Tooze has already produced Shutdown: How Covid Shook the World’s Economy, an instant history that is essential reading for those trying to understand the past two years.

There is a certain peril to…

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