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 1,026 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.


  • Behind the scenes

    By sailing pro
    Enjoyed the inside look at behind the scenes processes in a crisis.
  • Page turner.

    By 123 MAB
    Never thought a non fiction book could be a page turner.
  • Book not up to high Lewis standards

    By Brad Joselit
    In the past, I have been completely absorbed by any Lewis book. This one dragged along. I almost didn’t make it to the finish which was shocking given how much I have enjoyed other Lewis books. It picked up in interest about 45% of the way thru the book but then it dragged again at the end, and I could not wait for the experience to be over.
  • A great read. As always.

    By Sari_mak
    Enjoyed his book as I always do. Particularly liked the focus on Charity Dean in this story.
  • Well written and interesting

    By Tim Jennings
    An interesting, and very detailed account, of what went on behind the scenes of learning and understanding Covid-19 by a group of doctors and scientists who often went against directives and with very little support to respond to the pandemic. Behind the scenes is the specialty of author Michael Lewis who also wrote “The Big Short” and “Money Ball”. You’ll learn something here. My only complaint is the length of the chapters. It is a Herculean effort to finish a chapter.
  • Michael Lewis is the best at what he does

    By Papa Mitchee
    No one better than Michael Lewis in breaking down complicated issues so that the average person can understand them.
  • Gripping, yet depressing

    By Auggie's Man
    The lives that could have been saved but for the politicization of the CDC and the lack of preparedness is another sad testament to the dysfunction that plagues our country. No wonder the communications were so botched. If we don’t learn from this, and I fear we won’t, it’s yet another black mark on us as a country.
  • Should be required reading!!

    By Peanut in Austin
    Incredibly informative and so insightful. Has me googling for more information about the characters in this story. Reads better than the latest thriller - but true!!
  • The Premonition is a must read!

    By Lov2lrn
    Spectacularly enlightening! Charity Dean and Joe DeRisi are my heroes!
  • Terrifyingly brilliant accounting of the US government’s failure at exceptionalism

    By Amp1974
    This read was informative - shared all the behind the scenes heroes in this pandemic. Must read.