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Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs

Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs

Michael T. Osterholm


Sub-titled as being by the man who predicted the pandemic. He didn't, of course, he predicted a pandemic – which he expected to be of influenza, not coronavirus, which was relegated to a "regional" risk.

That's not a criticism of this book, however, which is a powerful exploration of the world's state of preparedness for pandemics and – more importantly – some very detailed policy prescriptions to improve that level that are now even more relevant given what we know about pandemic spread in the modern world.

The style is a mixture between personal anecdotes and broader perspectives: very characteristic of Mark Olshaker, whose style I think I could have recognised (from Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit and The Cases That Haunt Us, which is co-write with John Douglas) even had I not seen his name on the cover. It gives an immediacy to the content that otherwise risks becoming lost in a maze of science and politics.

4/5. Finished 01 July 2021.

(Originally published on Goodreads.)

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