An Evening with Eric Klinenberg

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Join renowned social critic and New York Times contributor Eric Klinenberg as he presents his latest work, 2020: One City, Seven People, and the Year Everything Changed.

An audience Q&A and book signing will follow the presentation. This event is free and open to the public. Reserved seating is available for you and a guest by pre-ordering a copy of 2020 from the Library Shop SD.

About the Book: 

2020 will go down alongside 1914, 1929, and 1968 as one of the most consequential years in history. This riveting and affecting book is the first attempt to capture the full human experience of that fateful time.

At the heart of 2020 are seven vivid profiles of ordinary New Yorkers — including an elementary school principal, a bar manager, a subway custodian, and a local political aide — whose experiences illuminate how Americans and people across the globe reckoned with 2020. Through these poignant stories, we revisit our own moments of hope and fear, the profound tragedies and losses in our communities, the mutual aid networks that brought us together, and the social movements that hinted at the possibilities of a better world.

Eric Klinenberg vividly captures these stories, casting them against the backdrop of a high-stakes presidential election, a surge of misinformation, rising distrust, and raging protests. We move from the epicenter in New York City to Washington and London, where political leaders made the crisis much more lethal than it had to be. We witnessed epidemiological battles in Wuhan and Beijing, along with the initiatives of scientists, citizens, and policymakers in Australia, Japan, and Taiwan, who worked together to save lives.

Klinenberg allows us to see 2020 — and, ultimately, ourselves — with unprecedented clarity and empathy. His book helps us reckon with what we lived through and the challenges we face before the next crisis arrives.

About the Author: 

ERIC KLINENBERG is the Helen Gould Shepard Professor in the Social Sciences and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. He is the co-author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Modern Romance and author of Palaces for the People, Going Solo, Heat Wave, and Fighting for Air. He has contributed to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Wired, and This American Life. He lives in New York City.