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Publisher's Summary

A trenchant look at how the coronavirus reveals the dangerous fault lines of contemporary society.

With medical mysteries, rising death tolls, and conspiracy theories beamed minute by minute through the vast web universe, the coronavirus pandemic has irrevocably altered societies around the world. In this sharp essay, world-renowned philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy interrogates the many meanings and metaphors we have assigned to the pandemic - and what they tell us about ourselves.

Drawing on the philosophical tradition from Plato and Aristotle to Lacan and Foucault, Lévy asks uncomfortable questions about reality and mythology: He rejects the idea that the virus is a warning from nature, the inevitable result of global capitalism; he questions the heroic status of doctors, asking us to think critically about the loci of authority and power; he challenges the panicked polarization that dominates online discourse. Lucid, incisive, and always original, Lévy takes a bird’s-eye view of the most consequential historical event of our time and proposes a way to defend human society from threats to our collective future.

©2020 Bernard-Henri Levy (P)2020 Yale Press Audio

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  • Dennis
  • 02-08-20

Trump bashing.

I only made it through about 30 minutes. I was hoping for an intelligent analysis of the human response to the virus. What I heard in the short time i listened was attack after attack after insult to and on Trump. In the little time I listened I heard not one critical analysis on the virus origin in China and how China handled that impact and the effect of their actions on the world. I could not make it past the Prologue and first half of the first chapter. I am no fan of Trump but what I heard of this short essay I can hear on the nightly news. No thanks. I will look for some other non biased analysis. But if you want more Trump bashing, this essay is for you.

6 people found this helpful