How Contagion Works

How Contagion Works : Science, Awareness and Community in Times of Global Crises - The short essay that helped change the Covid-19 debate

3.7 (865 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

'Lucid, calm, informed, directly helpful in trying to think about where we are now... The literature of the time after begins here' Evening Standard

'Taking a breather from bewildering statistics and terrible tales of contagion to read Giordano's book was a jolt of brevity and simplicity... It takes concepts that have been dancing away in our minds, just out of reach, and lines them up neatly' The Times

'Potent and original' Sunday Times

'In one short hour, in the midst of this difficult moment, Giordano reinforced my sense of hope in humanity, in the one and the many' Philippe Sands, author of East West Street and The Rat Line

The Covid-19 pandemic is the most significant health emergency of our time.

Writing from Italy in lockdown, physicist and novelist Paolo Giordano explains how disease spreads in our interconnected world:

why it matters
how it impacts us
how we must react

Expanding his focus to include other forms of contagion - from the environmental crisis to fake news and xenophobia - Giordano shows us not just how the coronavirus crisis got so bad so quickly, but also how we can work together to create change.


Paolo Giordano is a physicist and the author of four bestselling novels. His article 'The Mathematics of Contagion' - published in Italy at the beginning of the coronavirus emergency - was shared more than 4 million times and helped shift public opinion in the early stages of the epidemic.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 80 pages
  • 110 x 176 x 22mm | 60g
  • WEIDENFELD & NICOLSON
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1474619282
  • 9781474619288
  • 67,863

Review quote

Paolo Giordano's HOW CONTAGION WORKS is a lodestar for all of us seeking to find our way through this pandemic. Giordano, a mathematician, seamlessly combines lyrical prose and epidemiologic concepts in a clear and compassionate way, recalling at times the work of Jorge Luis Borges. HOW CONTAGION WORKS illuminates a clear and calm path forward as we navigate this strange new world. * Dan Werb, author of CITY OF OMENS * A timely, vital and inspiring read. * Andrea Wulf, author of THE INVENTION OF NATURE * Urgent, powerful writing... I could have folded the corner on every page. * John Sutherland, author of CROSSING THE LINE * The urgency behind Giordano's book is of a different kind, stemming more from the need to preserve the present than to explain it... Much like Sigmund Freud wrote down his dreams when he woke, before they faded, Giordano sought to document, in real time, his experience of the pandemic. * New York Times * 'Potent and original' * Sunday Times * The stark and poetic prose of Paolo Giordano's essay How Contagion Works conveys the existential angst of an Italian intellectual as he comes to terms with quarantine: the vulnerabilities, missed opportunities, loneliness, fear of annihilation and the realisation that humanity's supporting structures are 'a house of cards'. * Spectator * A slim guide to understanding this virus and preparing ourselves for what comes next... Taking a breather from bewildering statistics and terrible tales of contagion to read Giordano's book was a jolt of brevity and simplicity... Giordano's short book takes concepts that have been dancing away in our minds, just out of reach, and lines them up neatly. * The Times * Part analysis, part journal, perhaps the first from the new world we all share. It is modest, lucid, calm, informed, directly helpful in trying to think about where we are now... The literature of the time after begins here. * Evening Standard * Sublimely elegant, provocatively simple, deeply troubling. In one short hour, in the midst of this difficult moment, Giordano reinforced my sense of hope in humanity, in the one and the many. * Philippe Sands, author of EAST WEST STREET *
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About Paolo Giordano

PAOLO GIORDANO is a physicist and a bestselling writer. His first novel, THE SOLITUDE OF PRIME NUMBERS, was translated into more than 40 languages worldwide and won the Premio Strega (the Italian Booker).
Paolo is the author of the forthcoming novel HEAVEN AND EARTH and of the pamphlet HOW CONTAGION WORKS, a rallying cry inspired by the recent CoV-19 epidemic. He is also the creator of the new HBO series WE ARE WHO WE ARE, co-written and directed by Luca Guadagnino.
He holds a master's degree and a PhD in theoretical physics.
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Rating details

865 ratings
3.7 out of 5 stars
5 21% (182)
4 38% (325)
3 34% (292)
2 6% (52)
1 2% (14)
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