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The Viral Underclass by Steven W. Thrasher
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The Viral Underclass

The Human Toll When Inequality and Disease Collide

$31.04 USD

Get for $14.99 with membership
Length 9 hours 26 minutes
Language English
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This program is read by the author with a foreword written and read by Dr. Jonathan M. Metzl.

"An irresistibly readable and humane exploration of the barbarities of class...readers are gifted that most precious of things in these muddled times: a clear lens through which to see the world."
—Naomi Klein, New York Times bestselling author of This Changes Everything and The Shock Doctrine

From preeminent LGBTQ scholar, social critic, and journalist Steven W. Thrasher comes a powerful and crucial exploration of one of the most pressing issues of our times: how viruses expose the fault lines of society.


Having spent a ground-breaking career studying the racialization, policing, and criminalization of HIV, Dr. Thrasher has come to understand a deeper truth at the heart of our society: that there are vast inequalities in who is able to survive viruses and that the ways in which viruses spread, kill, and take their toll are much more dependent on social structures than they are on biology alone.

Told through the heart-rending stories of friends, activists, and teachers navigating the novel coronavirus, HIV, and other viruses, Dr. Thrasher brings the listener with him as he delves into the viral underclass and lays bare its inner workings. In the tradition of Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste and Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, The Viral Underclass helps us understand the world more deeply by showing the fraught relationship between privilege and survival.

A Macmillan Audio production from Celadon Books.

STEVEN W. THRASHER, PHD holds the inaugural Daniel H. Renberg chair at Northwestern University’s Medill School, the first journalism professorship in the world created to focus on LGBTQ research. He is also a faculty member of Northwestern’s Institute of Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing. A columnist for Scientific American, his writing has been widely published by The New York Times, Nation, The Atlantic, Journal of American History, BuzzFeed News, Esquire and New York. In 2019, Out magazine named him one of the 100 most influential and impactful people of the year, and the Ford Foundation awarded him a grant for Creativity and Free Expression. An alumnus of media jobs with Saturday Night Live, the HBO film The Laramie Project and the NPR StoryCorps project, Dr. Thrasher has also been a staff writer for The Village Voice and a columnist for The Guardian. He holds a PhD in American Studies and divides his time between Chicago and New York. The Viral Underclass is his first book.

STEVEN W. THRASHER, PHD holds the inaugural Daniel H. Renberg chair at Northwestern University’s Medill School, the first journalism professorship in the world created to focus on LGBTQ research. He is also a faculty member of Northwestern’s Institute of Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing. A columnist for Scientific American, his writing has been widely published by The New York Times, Nation, The Atlantic, Journal of American History, BuzzFeed News, Esquire and New York. In 2019, Out magazine named him one of the 100 most influential and impactful people of the year, and the Ford Foundation awarded him a grant for Creativity and Free Expression. An alumnus of media jobs with Saturday Night Live, the HBO film The Laramie Project and the NPR StoryCorps project, Dr. Thrasher has also been a staff writer for The Village Voice and a columnist for The Guardian. He holds a PhD in American Studies and divides his time between Chicago and New York. The Viral Underclass is his first book.

The perfect gift:
Audiobook credit bundles

You pick the number of credits, your recipient picks the audiobooks, and your local bookstore is supported by your purchase. Plus, you’ll get a FREE seasonal audiobook with your credit bundle purchase!

Start gifting
Give credit bundles this holiday season and get a free audiobook! Shop now