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As the Lock Rattles

John Lanchester, 16 December 2021

Breathtaking: Inside the NHS in a Time of Pandemic 
by Rachel Clarke.
Abacus, 228 pp., £9.99, September 2021, 978 0 349 14456 6
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Shutdown: How Covid Shook the World’s Economy 
by Adam Tooze.
Allen Lane, 354 pp., £25, September 2021, 978 0 241 48587 3
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Failures of State: The Inside Story of Britain’s Battle with Coronavirus 
by Jonathan Calvert and George Arbuthnott.
Mudlark, 432 pp., £20, March 2021, 978 0 00 843052 8
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Covid by Numbers: Making Sense of the Pandemic with Data 
by David Spiegelhalter and Anthony Masters.
Pelican, 320 pp., £10.99, October 2021, 978 0 241 54773 1
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The Covid Consensus: The New Politics of Global Inequality 
by Toby Green.
Hurst, 294 pp., £14.99, April 2021, 978 1 78738 522 1
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... the envy of the world,’ according to one Downing Street adviser quoted by Jonathan Calvert and George Arbuthnott in their excoriating Failures of State. Unfortunately, the reality was that the NHS had a chronic shortage of the necessary equipment and a plan that was reliant on exactly the kind of ‘just in time’ supply methods most likely to be ...

Not Recommended Reading

Eliot Weinberger, 7 September 2017

... copy Patricia’s shingle hairstyle and it becomes the rage. The Secret of Japan (1906) by George W. Draper    Takasuma, a Japanese-American scientist, invents a machine that makes people invisible. His friend Fowler accidentally steps in front of the ray. Fowler is extremely unhappy being invisible, and Mrs Fowler is not pleased. Takasuma promises ...

Short Cuts

William Davies: Friend or Threat, 17 June 2021

... has been far grimmer. Among the shocking, sometimes harrowing, details in Jonathan Calvert and George Arbuthnott’s Failures of State, an investigative report into the Johnson administration’s handling of the pandemic, are those confirming that the ‘curve’ was never adequately ‘flattened’ at all.* Aside from the scandalous decision to ...

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