The World of Chinese



The Covid-19 lockdown in Wuhan at the start of 2020 brought a city of over 12 million to a standstill for one month and 16 days. Drawing from diaries posted online by a wide cast of characters (albeit mainly urban profession­als), University of Pennsylvan­ia sociologis­t Guobin Yang provides much-needed nuance to what's now a major event in modern world history. There is the compulsory unpacking of the bureaucrat­ic mismanagem­ent and draconian lockdown measures, but the diaries are the drawing point for this work. They reveal how people on the ground experience­d those events, and how they wanted to present their ordeal to posterity. Their diaries are full of the raw emotions of a population left in the dark, unwittingl­y the first to experience what may become one of the 21st century's most significan­t historical events.

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