Book Launch – Until Proven Safe: The History and Future of Quarantine

Join author Geoff Manaugh, journalist Nicola Twilley & curator Brendan Cormier for a conversation about the history and future of quarantine

This is ‘the book of our historical moment,’ writes Steve Silberman, author of NeuroTribes) — ‘startlingly timely, authoritatively researched, and electrifyingly written.’ Buzzfeed calls it ‘the perfect postpandemic read—an imaginative, layperson-friendly way to make sense of and contextualize what we just lived through.’ In starred reviews, Publisher’s Weekly describes Until Proven Safe as ‘riveting and timely,’ and Kirkus Reviews calls it ‘captivating… An infectiously appealing overview of efforts to contain the potentially infectious.’



Geoff Manaugh, author of BLDGBLOG and A Burglar’s Guide to the City, and Nicola Twilley, journalist and co-host of Gastropod, come to the AA Bookstore for the virtual launch of the UK edition of their timely new book, Until Proven Safe: The History and Future of Quarantine.

Begun long before COVID-19, Until Proven Safe tracks the history and future of quarantine around the globe, chasing the story of emergency isolation through time and space—from crumbling Mediterranean lazarettos built to contain the Black Death to an experimental Ebola unit in London, and from the hallways of the CDC to closed-door simulations where pharmaceutical execs and epidemiologists prepare for pandemics yet to come.

But the story of quarantine ranges far beyond the history of medical isolation. The authors tour a nuclear-waste isolation facility beneath the New Mexican desert, see plants stricken with a disease that threatens the world’s wheat supply, and meet NASA’s Planetary Protection Officer, tasked with saving Earth from extraterrestrial infections.

Manaugh and Twilley are joined in conversation by Brendan Cormier, Senior Curator of Exhibitions and Special Projects at the V&A, and leader of its Pandemic Objects project.

The event is finished.


Jul 20 2021


1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

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