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Susan O'Rourke | December 13, 2021

This winter, a few of the UNC World View staff members are reading Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World. The book, written by journalist Fareed Zakaria and published in October of 2020, evaluates and compares systems of government, economic challenges and successes, and health outcomes across the globe in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The book investigates how the current pandemic relates to past global health crises and offers recommendations for global leaders and citizens to adopt as we look forward to this “post-pandemic world.” In his chapter, “What Matters Is Not the Quantity of Government but the Quality,” for example, Zakaria reflects on different models of leadership throughout history and the values “[driving] reformers from above and below” (from “[producing] order” to “[bringing] Enlightenment rationalism to bear on politics”) [i] before evaluating the impact of “American exceptionalism” and attitudes towards central government on the U.S.’s handling of the pandemic.[ii] Zakaria also provides insight into the economic impacts of the pandemic and attempts to reduce inequality. In his chapter “Inequality Will Get Worse,” Zakaria evaluates conditions exacerbating inequality in this new age by looking at issues like globalization and economic competition as well as at race, healthcare, and structural change in the United States.[iii] Zakaria’s book thus calls on readers to understand past historical examples; evaluate current economic, social, and political conditions; and reflect on the kind of societies and global order we want to build in a post-pandemic world.

References/See Also:

[i] Fareed Zakaria, Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2020), 41.

[ii] Ibid., 43-55.

[iii] Ibid., 147-163.