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Publisher's Summary

A piercing and scientifically grounded look at the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic and how it will change the way we live - "this year's must-must-read" (Daniel Gilbert).

Apollo's Arrow offers a riveting account of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic as it swept through American society in 2020 and of how the recovery will unfold in the coming years. Drawing on momentous (yet dimly remembered) historical epidemics, contemporary analyses, and cutting-edge research from a range of scientific disciplines, best-selling author, physician, sociologist, and public-health expert Nicholas A. Christakis explores what it means to live in a time of plague - an experience that is paradoxically uncommon to the vast majority of humans who are alive yet deeply fundamental to our species.

Unleashing new divisions in our society as well as opportunities for cooperation, this 21st-century pandemic has upended our lives in ways that will test, but not vanquish, our already frayed collective culture. Featuring new, provocative arguments and vivid examples ranging across medicine, history, sociology, epidemiology, data science, and genetics, Apollo's Arrow envisions what happens when the great force of a deadly germ meets the enduring reality of our evolved social nature. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2020 Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD (P)2020 Little, Brown & Company

What the critics say

"Apollo’s Arrow shoots straight and true to explain the scientific and social aspects of the coronavirus pandemic. Christakis’s background in biology, medicine, epidemiology, and sociology is a powerful formula for understanding this complex subject. I’m tempted to say that the gods created Christakis to write this book at this time. It is wise, vivid, and engaging." (William D. Nordhaus, author of The Climate Casino and 2018 Nobel Laureate in Economics)

“Seldom have we been gifted with a study of pandemic disease marked by such scope, wit, and erudition. Still rarer is one that appears while the rest of us scramble to make sense of a rapidly evolving crisis, one shaped by the very social forces that Nicholas Christakis has studied for decades. Apollo’s Arrow is more than history’s first draft. It will live on as a journal of the plague years, certainly, and it inspires as it instructs. Definitive, engaging, and astonishing. A tour-de-force.” (Paul Farmer, professor, Harvard Medical School, founder, Partners in Health)

“The world is ravenous for deep and accurate information about the most important event in the 21st century. No one is deeper than Nicholas Christakis, who ticks every box of expertise: medical, epidemiological, social, psychological, economic, historical. This is the place to go to understand the phenomenon that has turned the world, and our lives, upside down. Apollo’s Arrow is gripping, enlightening, and vitally important.” (Steven Pinker, author of Enlightenment Now)

What listeners say about Apollo's Arrow

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Just what I needed to hear.

This book does an excellent job of explaining our current predicament in the context human history.

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Fascinating

I really enjoyed the candor and realistic perspective the author had. It has been difficult to listen to the political and media misinformation that has been propagated on COVID and I appreciate hearing a sane voice who can tell us what to expect, what we can do to mitigate poor outcomes, and how we move forward. Excellent book!

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One for the time capsule

A riveting analysis of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Nicholas devotes time to both the scientific and sociological lenses in an engaging novel full of wisdom and insight. This is very much a book, I, a 25 year-old would envision giving to my grandchildren 50 years from now.

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  • Paris Holliday
  • 2020-11-17

Fantastic Read!

100% enjoyed this book! Very informative and educating, well written and explained, so relative right now, and just gives great perspective that too many people are not even considering.

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  • Salma
  • 2020-12-28

helped frame my reflections in a time of corona

contains a lot of helpful historical context for current events, even though there is no 'solution' or resolution this helped me learned what happened after previous pandemics and what themes were relevant

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  • lisa barrett
  • 2020-12-15

Intellectual dishonesty at its best

All research for this book ended in June 2020 yet author give declarative ultimatums for exactly how we should move forward because of COVID 19. Yet it is December 2020 and all science has changed since June.

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  • Alchemist585
  • 2020-11-14

Excellent. Scholarly, Insightful, & Comprehensive

I enjoyed learning as I listened to Dr. CHRISTAKIS explain in simple language about pandemics past & presents. I specifically appreciate the he explained the social impact, the way he documented key events related to #Covid_19 chronologically, and his insight of how the #SARS_COV_2 virus may evolve into an endemic & less harmful similar to how the OC43 virus likely evolved. I am going to buy the hard copy as a reference once the 2nd ed is out because I think an update is necessary in a couple of years.

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  • Jim Holly
  • 2020-12-02

The most comprehensive description so far...

Worth several listens. There is a tremendous amount of information and keep perspective on the topic

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  • WD
  • 2020-11-24

Know your enemy

The author presents an excellent survey of the science and history of pandemic disease. He did not get bogged down in jargon or science beyond my grasp. The last chapters on sociology and how COVID will end were of particular interest. Narrated clearly by the author who has a nice voice for this task.

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  • Tom
  • 2020-11-24

Science not political

Great book. The author is very knowledgeable about The current Pandemic as well as knowledge and done extensive research on past pandemics. I liked how he for the most part stayed out of the politics and focused on the science. His analogies make the virus and the way the virus works easier to understand. Anyone who wants to know more about Covid-19 should listen to this book. I also enjoyed that this was narrated by the author himself. Well done.

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  • Avid Reader
  • 2020-11-22

A Wealth of Information at Multiple Scales

This book presents our current pandemic within the perspective of the broader human history of pandemics. The medical and social history was very interesting to me, and the work also had just the right amount of detail about SARS-Cov2 of today. It is well written for those of us outside the domain of medicine. An important and valuable work.

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  • Margaret
  • 2020-11-21

Very timely and relevant to COVID-19

This is a dascinating read, combining history, sociology, and medicine. The book provides a road map as to what to expect for the next several years, and gives plenty of precedent and analysis to make a convincing case.

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  • Paul Gill
  • 2021-01-20

Misleading title

Long on the regurgitation of events over the last 9 months, which will be very useful to future generations but a waste of time for any reasonably informed individual experiencing the pandemic in real time. Short on what the title of the book seems to offer: a look at how this pandemic will shape the immediate and more long term future.