After Life: A Collective History of Loss and Redemption in Pandemic America

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    Rhae Lynn Barnes, Keri Leigh Merritt, Yohuru Williams

    Publisher: Haymarket Books

    Year: 2022

    Format: Paperback

    Size: 360 pages

    ISBN: 9781642598292

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  • “Breathtakingly refreshing in scope and content,
    After Life is history the way history should be written. Bringing together an incredibly diverse group of scholars, this book walks us through the worst days of the pandemic but offers us tools to create a better future." Ibram X. Kendi

  • "Sometimes, you don’t know what you really need until you read it. In After Life, some of America’s most searching minds sift through the wreckage of the pandemic to provide us precious shards of light, so that the unfathomable loss of life—more than all the Americans who died in the Civil War or in World War II—will not be in vain." Nancy MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America

  • "These essays seek to understand how we got here, document the pandemic’s impact on the lives of regular Americans, and write early drafts of the history of such cataclysmic pandemic-era events as June 2020’s Black Lives Matter rallies and January 2021’s white nationalist uprising at the U.S. Capitol. After Life is timely, compassionate, and necessary." Booklist

  • "Do nations have souls? Has America lost its soul? Loss and redemption are two deeply human and American ideas; generally we like the second one better. In this amazing collection of perspectives, loss takes its proper place as genuine tragedy. Largely by tapping historians, Barnes, Merritt and Williams have found a gold mine of reflection on the moral, medical, racial, and political condition of the American experiment. These pieces show, darkly but beautifully, how thoughtful people have been hurt, or destroyed, past and present; but they also inspire paths forward not to a promised land, but to a functional, honest society and a new republic." David W. Blight, Yale University, author of Pulitzer-prize winning Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

  • “Rhae Lynn Barnes, Keri Leigh Merritt, and Yohuru Williams have ring-mastered an excellent book of powerful thinkers mourning all the unnecessary losses of the past few years—and pointing, possibly, toward American redemption." Brad DeLong, author of Slouching Towards Utopia: An Economic History of the Long 20th Century, 1870-2010

  • "How do we make sense of the senseless? This remarkable collection begins to answer that question for the tragedy that was America's politicized response to a lethal pandemic and everything that happened alongside it, including an attempted coup. As daring in scope as it is diverse in voice, After Life can help us heal with a fuller understanding of the reach of this formative and often disastrous time. The editors tell us that the early 2020s will define our lives --the sooner we understand that time, the sooner we'll understand ourselves. This book is an indispensable guide." Andrew L. Seidel, author of The Founding Myth and American Crusade

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