Shutdown: How Covid Shook the World’s Economy. By Adam Tooze. Viking; 368 pages; $28. Allen Lane; £25

THE COVID-19 pandemic may be the starkest example of globalisation that history has ever provided. It was not just that the virus spread rapidly round the world. As governments reacted by imposing shutdowns, almost 95% of the world’s economies suffered a simultaneous contraction in GDP per head.

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Even the millions of workers who have been furloughed from their jobs will have struggled to find the time to keep up with all the ramifications. So Adam Tooze, a history professor at Columbia University, has taken on the ambitious task of producing an instant history of the pandemic’s economic fallout. As with his previous book, “Crashed”, about the…

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