Toby Green has written reviews and features for a wide range of media, ranging from book reviews of fiction by Isabel Allende to comment pieces for the Guardian, Prospect, the Sunday Express and Times Higher Education, feature essays for Aeon and History Today, and numerous travel features for the Financial Times. He has also contributed comment pieces to a range of online media, including African Arguments, Compact, Culturico, The Wire and UnHerd.
His latest work on current affairs centres on the Covid-19 pandemic and responses to it. The first edition of his book The Covid Consensus: The New Politics of Global Inequality came out in spring 2021; and the coauthored second edition with Thomas Fazi, entitled The Covid Consensus: The Global Assault on Democracy and the Poor - A Critique from the Left, was published in January 2023.
Image: The Covid Consensus Jacket
The Covid Consensus takes an internationalist perspective and argues that the response to Covid-19 reveals irreconcilable contradictions in Western thought, with devastating consequences for the Global Poor and the poor and disadvantaged in Western societies. New research reveals new evidence as to the impetus behind the WHO's advice on lockdowns, and argues that the policies represented radical continuities of existing trends of inequality, mediatisation and surveillance that threaten the future of liberal democracies.
Toby Green has written widely about responses to Covid for a range of publications, as well as doing media interviews for BBC World Service Newshour and Weekend, LBC, Sky News Australia, South Africa Broadcasting Corporation's night-time news, The Grayzone News's Max Blumenthal on Rofkin, Times Radio, TNT World and Voice of Islam.
The 2nd edition of the book has been featured in discussion in Compact Magazine (US) Contrepoints (France) and Sublation (UK). Beyond reviews around the world, the first edition of the book featured in critical discussion of the response to the pandemic in Clarin (Argentina), Dagbladet Information (Denmark), the letters page of the Guardian (UK), KlasseKampen (Norway), The Grayzone News (US), The Spectator Australia.
Reviews of the 2nd edition:
"As Toby Green and Thomas Fazi note in their book, The Covid Consensus, the idea of entire countries being placed in lockdown was something entirely new...As they note, an aggressive form of authoritarian capitalism resulted in poor people everywhere suffering enormous losses while rich people everywhere became immeasurably richer." Larry Elliott, The Guardian, February 13th 2023
"An outstanding history of the present, that no other historian or journalist has written to this day." - African Arguments, February 21st 2023
"An important book" -- The Critic, February 28th 2023
"Lively, lucid and formidable" -- Fred Sculthorp, Perspective Magazine, March 15th 2023
‘Makes an indelible mark … It is a book that will profoundly influence generations of scholars and practitioners. The brave and bold recommendations appended by the authors for a post-pandemic world have made this book even more significant for men and women of goodwill in an increasingly unequal world.’
—Olutayo Adesina, Professor of History, University of Ibadan
‘A thoroughly researched account of the global experience of the Covid pandemic.’
—Professor Robert Dingwall, member of UK SAGE
Reviews of the 1st edition:
A New Statesman "Best Book about the Covid-19 Pandemic"
'A brave and measured work: essential reading', El Pais, August 16th 2021
'A meticulously referenced, shocking catalogue of Western hypocrisy and the destruction wrought by global lockdowns on the poorest nations...a depressing tale of hubris, mindless groupthink and cynical power grabs by bureaucrats and governments, taking advantage of a “health crisis”" -- The Australian, July 6th 2021
"Picks apart the damage which has affected the world's states, both rich and poor, examining the level of catastrophe which has afflicted each one. [The book] concludes that we are not facing a normal form of crisis, but that the diagnosis is difficult owing to its complexity, and as it has occurred at a moment where the world is undergoing a major economic, political and cultural restructuring" -- Al-Ahram, February 15th 2022
'Restrictions have disproportionately affected the young and poor. [This] unique take explores how these groups, often lacking the facility for remote work and with their education severely limited, are likely to experience staggering inequalities for years to come' -- New Statesman, July 29th 2021
'As [shown] in this book, the strategy judged to be the best for dealing with Covid-19 in the rest of the world is badly adapted and in fact counter-productive on the African continent" Le Monde, June 10th 2021
'A bracing polemic', London Review of Books, December 4th 2021
'Important...a valuable world perspective...[the] attention to worldwide effects, decentering the West, has distinct value,' Choice, January 2022
'An outstanding analysis of the regressive effects of lockdown policies, and the neocolonial dimension of their imposition on the Global South.' -- The Popular Show
'Covid-19 is not Africa's biggest problem in terms of public health. [This book] shows that the strategy judged to be the most efficient in the rest of the world is probably inappropriate and may even be counterproductive for the African continent" Leeuwarder Courant, Netherlands, June 25th
"A must-read book for those who are engaged in both anti-lockdown and pro-lockdown discourse. [It] will trigger some serious questions and arguments to ponder. It deals with intricate details regarding the development of the consensus...boldly stated with conviction." -- LSE Review of Books, February 17th 2022
"A refreshing and eye-opening read to the impacts of the response to the virus that have been carefully omitted from daily media coverage. Instead, it modestly critiques the policy decisions without joining the bandwagon of conspiracists and those with an opposing political agenda. ,,,it tackles this controversial issue skilfully, acknowledging the seriousness of the virus, whilst addressing the enormous socio-economic harms" -- Keele Law Review, Volume 3 (2021), 108-111
‘A thoughtful analysis of the forces and attitudes that unleashed lockdowns upon the global poor, with harrowing descriptions of the consequences.’ — Sunetra Gupta, Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology, University of Oxford
'An essential book to understand what lockdowns really mean for the poor worldwide' -- Jay Bhattacharya, Professor of Medicine, Stanford University
‘An excellent book at a critical time. Pandemics breed hysteria, to which the only cure is reason. This book is a masterly dose of reason, challenging, questioning and sceptical in the best sense of the word.’ — Simon Jenkins, author and columnist
‘Even in the face of viruses and death, some humans are still “more equal” than others. This book demonstrates it abundantly while challenging conventional wisdom on the pandemic and how to confront it.’ — Gilbert Achcar, Professor of Development Studies and International Relations, SOAS University of London
‘In a grave pandemic, what is the acceptable level of mortality risk relative to the damage to society, economy and poor countries from lockdowns? This searching scrutiny and anguished analysis of this dilemma is a much-needed corrective to simplistic slogans.’ — Ramesh Thakur, former Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations
‘An intellectual treat for critical thinkers who are watching the sunset of reason and feel that all that is essential is invisible to the eyes of many. This book sheds light on reason and makes the invisible visible.’ — Yossi Nehushtan, Professor of Law and Philosophy, Keele University
‘An admirably measured description of 2020’s immeasurable destruction, charting the shocking fallout from governments’ virus-suppression policies in the Global North and South. The Covid Consensus should be read by everyone who still believes that lockdowns save lives.’ — Sinead Murphy, Lecturer in Philosophy, Newcastle University
Toby Green has written a number of op-eds and features regarding the Covid-19 pandemic and responses to it in print and online media, including Prospect, African Arguments, History Today, UnHerd, The Wire, NewsAfrica,Times Higher Education and Culturico. He has co-authored many of these articles, working with David Bell, Jay Bhattacharya, and Carlos Cardoso, among others.
In November 2021 Green started collaborating with the Italian writer Thomas Fazi. Their initial piece for UnHerd, "The Left's Covid Failure" was translated into 10 languages, while their follow up "Has the Great Barrington Declaration Been Vindicated?" was discussed in El Mundo and the New York Post editorial pages. They have subsequently written many further pieces together for UnHerd, and appeared in a number of joint podcasts -- as well as coauthoring the second edition of The Covid Consensus, which was published on January 5 2023.
"The Left's Covid Failure", with Thomas Fazi in UnHerd:
The Left's Covid Failure
Article on Medical Colonialism, Covid and Africa for African Arguments:
African Arguments: Medical Colonialism
Co-authored article with Jay Bhattacharya on Lockdowns and the Global poor in Unherd:
UnHerd article Lockdowns Global South
Co-authored article with David Bell in The Wire on WHO:
The Wire WHO piece
UnHerd article on "3rd wave" in Africa:
Africa's "3rd wave"
Prospect article on health and the Global South:
Prospect Global Health
UnHerd article on vaccines in Africa:
UnHerd on vaccines in Africa
Aeon article on economic crisis, poverty and the lessons of African history for the present:
Aeon article on slavery and economic crises
Co-authored article with Carlos Cardoso in African Arguments:
African arguments article
History Today article on Africa, debt and historical parallels to the pandemic:
Culturico article on Covid and the crisis in Western thought:
Co-authored article with Ambreena Manji, Carli Coetzee and Ola Uduku in Times Higher Education:
Times Higher Education
Unherd article on the failure of lockdowns in Eastern Europe:
UnHerd Eastern Europe article
Toby Green wrote dozens of reviews for the Independent, and has also written criticism for the London Review of Books, History Today, Times Higher Education, and the TLS. He has reviewed books by, among others, David Abulafia, Tariq Ali, Isabel Allende, William Dalrymple, Jared Diamond, the late Eduardo Galeano, Francisco Goldman, John Gray, and Charles C. Mann. He has also interviewed writers including Ma Jian, and the late WG Sebald (republished alongside an interview by the late Susan Sontag in the Journal of European Studies).
Interview with WG Sebald:
Review of Chocolate Islands by Catherine Higgs in the London Review of Books:
Chocolate Islands LRB
Book review of A Primer for Teaching African Historyby Trevor Getz:
Trevor Getz review
Review of 1493 by Charles C. Mann:
Review of Pirates of the Caribbean by Tariq Ali:
Review of The Art of Political Murder by Francisco Goldman:
Toby Green has written features for a wide range of print and online media. He has contributed numerous features for Aeon, the Daily and Sunday Telegraph, the Financial Times, the Guardian, History Today, the Observer, and Prospect.
Comment piece on the Inquisition from the Guardian's editorial page:
History Today article on Africa's global histories:
Co-authored article in Prospect on Guinea-Bissau:
Article on Cape Verde in the Financial Times:
FT Cape Verde
Article in Aeon about Precolonial African history:
Aeon Precolonial Africa
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