It’s a rare occurrence for a writer to reissue an older work because it has acquired new relevance, but such was the case for Mike Davis. His 2005 study of the risks of an avian flu pandemic, The Monster at Our Door (New Press), has come back with a vengeance in the emergence of COVID-19, under a new title, The Monster Enters.

It was a book Davis himself no longer even owned a copy of. “I wanted it off my bookshelf in order to exorcise the anxiety involved in its writing,” he writes in the new introduction, while in lockdown in his home in San Diego, California.

Davis’s forty-four-page intro is, by itself, worth the price of admission. Crafted in his distinctive prose (“I write this . . . bunkered in my garage with innumerable cans of Chef Boyardee, a few pints of Guinness, and some virology textbooks.”), he takes the reader through an analysis of our present moment that is part history lesson, part detective story, part science class, and most of all, cogent political analysis.

The book is well researched, with twenty-three pages of notes and citations, but nonetheless accessible, with a penetrating look at the intersection of threats from new diseases as they mix with the much older maladies of capitalism, greed, and inequality.

Read the full review here.

Verified by MonsterInsights