Pandemic, Inc.: Chasing the Capitalists and Thieves Who Got Rich While We Got Sick

S. & S. Audio. Apr. 2022. 10:04 hrs. ISBN 9781797138435. $23.99. POL SCI
McSwane, a reporter for ProPublica, has won several investigative journalism awards, including Harvard’s Goldsmith Prize, for reporting on mismanaged health care in Texas. Here, he targets America’s botched handling of the COVID pandemic, not to depress us, he says, but instead to spur us to action because “anger is more useful than despair.” There is so much to be angry about in this jaw-dropping exposé, which shines a light on greedy corporations, shady entrepreneurs, and inept government workers who clearly cared more about profits and their reputations than, quite literally, the life and death of American hospital workers and citizens. McSwane recounts his cross-country pursuit of charlatans in the first person, and narrator Matt Godfrey perfectly assumes the persona of the crack investigative reporter, absolutely nailing McSwane’s tone, which varies from indignant to exasperated to deadpan.
VERDICT With engrossing narration from Godfrey, this call-to-action for increased pandemic preparedness, including the removal of partisan politics and unrestrained capitalism from future health-care emergencies, is an essential purchase for all libraries.
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