by Chuang | China
introduction by David Ranney
Published October 2021 by Charles H Kerr Publishing Company in the United Kingdom as part of the Penguin Modern Classics series
Paperback | 224 pages
“A unique and invaluable chronicle of the Wuhan outbreak.”—Mike Davis, author of City of Quartz, Planet of Slums, and The Monster Enters
Social Contagion presents the untold story of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan. Chuang, a collective of communists living inside and outside China, chronicle the struggles of everyday people caught between a lethal virus and a repressive state. They argue that China’s rapid but fragile economic growth has created the social and biological conditions for new and deadly viruses, of which COVID-19 was merely the latest iteration. Through on-the-ground interviews, reports and analysis, Social Contagion gives us a piercing portrait of the simultaneously draconian and ineffectual response of the Chinese state, as well as the self-organizing survival strategies of ordinary Chinese workers. Chuang conclude that the pandemic has enabled a new mode of counterinsurgent governance, one rooted in decades of institutional experimentation and an emergent theory of statecraft.