The Premonition: A Pandemic Story - Michael Lewis

The Premonition: A Pandemic Story

By Michael Lewis

  • Release Date: 2021-05-04
  • Genre: Political Science
Score: 4.5
From 368 Ratings


New York Times Bestseller

For those who could read between the lines, the censored news out of China was terrifying. But the president insisted there was nothing to worry about.

Fortunately, we are still a nation of skeptics. Fortunately, there are those among us who study pandemics and are willing to look unflinchingly at worst-case scenarios. Michael Lewis’s taut and brilliant nonfiction thriller pits a band of medical visionaries against the wall of ignorance that was the official response of the Trump administration to the outbreak of COVID-19.

The characters you will meet in these pages are as fascinating as they are unexpected. A thirteen-year-old girl’s science project on transmission of an airborne pathogen develops into a very grown-up model of disease control. A local public-health officer uses her worm’s-eye view to see what the CDC misses, and reveals great truths about American society. A secret team of dissenting doctors, nicknamed the Wolverines, has everything necessary to fight the pandemic: brilliant backgrounds, world-class labs, prior experience with the pandemic scares of bird flu and swine flu…everything, that is, except official permission to implement their work.

Michael Lewis is not shy about calling these people heroes for their refusal to follow directives that they know to be based on misinformation and bad science. Even the internet, as crucial as it is to their exchange of ideas, poses a risk to them. They never know for sure who else might be listening in.


  • Fascinating

    Wow what a ride! When I finished the book I had a great sense of gratitude for all the brilliant people who worked so hard to try and prevent the loss of so many lives. At the same time I again felt the anger towards the many government institutions who failed us because of the bureaucracies we citizens have allowed to be created for our selfish ends. Friends and family are dead and we Americans are responsible. But again there’s a sense of hope that with all these fantastic selfless individuals and knowledge and determination they share, that we can an will do better in the next crisis.
  • Fantastic storytelling

    By flyingwiththewind
    Lewis interweaves seemingly unrelated stories into a seamless narrative that breaks down the complex not-so-long-ago-history leading up to and through America’s pandemic response. Highly recommend.
  • A must read

    By cdmadwis
    This latest book by Michael Lewis should be read by all those who think Covid is a hoax rather than the third most common cause of death in th U.S. in 2020.
  • Interesting BUT not his best

    By Bamancal
    2020 rewind. Many of the characters seem like truly great people yet this whole booked seemed like he needed something to do during the pandemic.
  • Lessons to be learned

    By John_Corey
    The people who can look around corners are rarely needed or respected. Being too early to see the future is unattractive to the masses. Better to stick with the herd than take the risk. If you want real insight into how disasters grow from a series of dumb choices, read the book. Michael Lewis is a very good story teller. It takes real skill to craft a great story while sticking to the facts.
  • Another couldn’t put it down book

    By maxnyc08
    Michael Lewis is a amazing story teller. America’s new Mark Twain. Sadly his stories are real
  • The premonition

    By J. Hartman
    This was a great look behind the scenes and an excellent explanation at why that picture was so wrong. I have to admit that the book could have been tripled in length and detail to provide a really concrete understanding of how our response was so badly done. I worked at a major medical institution for ten years and know how byzantine that field really is.
  • Another superb Lewis offering

    By Rigary
    A superb look inside the failures of government to bypass bureaucratic norms and act swiftly. Somewhat chilling.
  • Not his best work (and that is being kind).

    By RCW9999
    Gave it almost 100 pages. Basically a third of the way through the book and there is no discernible plot. I know the book is supposed to be about the current pandemic, but a 100 page build up of nonsense is hard to justify. I’ve liked Lewis’ books in the past, but this was one of the lease entertaining books in memory.