The biggest shortcoming of “Shutdown” is that historian Tooze’s subject is far from history. The book ends in May 2021, before global health organizations started warning about the rise of variants and breakthrough infections, and before companies pressed pause on ambitious return-to-work plans. Meanwhile, the new era of government spending championed by Tooze is hardly a fait accompli. As this review went to press, President Biden was struggling to win bipartisan support for a $2 trillion infrastructure plan, and lawmakers seemed to have little inclination to spend tax dollars to address climate change, a crisis that by many accounts dwarfs the pandemic. Neoliberalism isn’t history yet, and neither, it seems, are shutdowns.

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