• Preventable

  • The Inside Story of How Leadership Failures, Politics, and Selfishness Doomed the U.S. Coronavirus Response
  • By: Andy Slavitt
  • Narrated by: Bradley Whitford
  • Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (316 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The definitive, behind-the-scenes look at the US coronavirus crisis from one of the most recognizable and influential voices in healthcare

From former head of Obamacare Andy Slavitt, Preventable is the definitive inside account of the United States' failed response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Slavitt chronicles what he saw and how much could have been prevented - an unflinching investigation of the cultural, political, and economic drivers that led to unnecessary loss of life.

With unparalleled access to the key players throughout the government on both sides of the aisle, the principal public figures, as well as the people working on the frontline involved in fighting the virus, Slavitt brings you into the room as fateful decisions are made and focuses on the people at the center of the political system, health care system, patients, and caregivers. The story that emerges is one of a country in which - despite the heroics of many - bad leadership, political and cultural fractures, and an unwillingness to sustain sacrifice light a fuse that is difficult to extinguish.

Written in the tradition of The Big Short, Preventable continues Andy Slavitt’s important work of addressing the uncomfortable realities that brought America to this place. And, he puts forth the solutions that will prevent us from being here again, ensuring a better, stronger country for everyone.

A Macmillan Audio production from St. Martin's Press

“Painfully good. The book could have been called, ‘Outrageous.’ The story Andy Slavitt tells is not just about Trump’s monumental failures but also about the deeper ones that started long before, with our health system, our politics, and more.” (Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal)

©2021 Andy Slavitt (P)2021 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

“He’s not swaggery; he doesn’t come across as particularly commanding. But then leadership isn’t always blustery or elected. Slavitt is a policy wonk turned cage rattler, and in this time of pandemic, he’s emerged on Twitter and TV as one of the more straightforward, consistent sources of information, a health care administrator with a talent for getting senators and CEOs to call him back.” (The Chicago Tribune)

“As CMS administrator, he was able to work across the aisle, though quietly, more than some predecessors. His pragmatic problem-solving (he dislikes the word “technocrat”) approach helped him build good ties with much of the health care industry and many governors, including those in red and purple states.” (Politico)

“With decades of experience delivering health care services to millions of Americans, Andy has developed a track record as an effective and innovative leader who gets results. As acting administrator at CMS, Andy has played a crucial role in leading efforts to combat health care fraud, reform health care delivery, and improve health outcomes.” (Amy Klobuchar)

What listeners say about Preventable

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Right, Left, or Center.... every American needs to read this book

I’ve worked in health and social systems for my entire career. This book is a tour de force review of the things we knew objectively, felt instinctively, and questioned quietly as we endured the hardships of the last 16 months. The insider information and unique insights about the combination of very bad things that converged at the worst possible moment are both enlightening and sobering. The next time our country is faced with a crisis - biological or otherwise - our culture must be better prepared and our systems need to drastically evolve. Andy lays this out in a brilliant way.

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Must read.

A little hard to piece together a complete timeline of events as the book is broken up into topic chapters, each with its own timeline. However, this is a must read! I am more than happy to put in the extra effort. And if even half of the "N" appendix suggestions are implemented we will be much better prepared when the next pandemic strikes. I would strongly recommend reading "Factfulness" by Hans Rosling as a companion to this book. I had just finished it when " Preventable" was released, and feel each work informs and supports the other's position with a syncronysity that often appears when the time is ripe for big changes.

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Excellent Synopsis of Pandemic

Excellent book that explained the pandemic. As a public health worker I totatally could relate to what was being portrayed in the book. I loved the recommendations at the end.

7 people found this helpful

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No it's not anything new or fresh

Author has a god complex equivalent to the man he blames. Seriously like hearing the pundits during the election 🙄
History should not be political.

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Pandemic preparedness brilliance

AndySlavit for Secretary of health and human services! The man is brilliant, compassionate, and capable.

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Honesty is the eat policy

Factual information is not such a bitter pill to take. It could have turned our actions into caution rather than terror. Not knowing who to trust is very unsettling. It was very good to hear it straight rather then twisted for a twisted reason.

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Equal parts inspiring and infuriating. A must listen.

Preventable is equal parts inspiring and infuriating. Andy Slavitt brings us behind the scenes of trying to stop the Covid pandemic with little more than a Rolodex and Twitter account. Preventable is a must listen.

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An insightful and sometimes depressing story

Andy Slavitt's connections with the key players in the US response to the COVID-19 pandemic ran deeper than even his podcast listeners may realize. In this story, he recounts many of those conversations, giving new perspective on what was going on. Along the way, he shares his insights into how we can try to avoid another disaster in the future.

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very good narrative on a complex issue

my only issue is in chapter 8 (room service) at the end there may have been an editing error. just double check.

very thoughtful well researched book .

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If you want to understand what happened…

Read this book. Slavitt gives an honest insider view and thoughtful analysis of the disastrous response to the covid 19 pandemic. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. The narration is excellent as well.

3 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Chris Williams
  • Chris Williams
  • 09-13-21

The best book so far on Covid

Like many people, I've been obsessed with the whole covid thing. This book has been the most insightful so far. Slavitt gives enormous insight into the topic.
Well worth a listen.