As a companion to Fauci from National Geographic Documentary Films, fans can read words of wisdom from the infectious disease expert in Fauci: Expect the Unexpected. Based around quotes from the film, Dr. Anthony Fauci expands the themes of his life and career into “Ten Lessons on Truth, Service, and the Way Forward.” If you want his life story, watch the movie. But if you want his advice on what you should learn from it, read the book.

(National Geographic)

(National Geographic)

The title of the book is one of the ten lessons, which are broken up into brief chapters. Quotes from the film take up full pages in large font, with emphasized words in bold. Dr. Fauci then expands on each one, starting with a description of the events that taught him these lessons. He enumerates with subsections and ends most chapters with “Scenes from a Life,” a personal anecdote and one that’s often somewhat humorous.

As a nonpartisan public figure, one of the most interesting and refreshing parts of Fauci: Expect the Unexpected is his description of working under seven administrations and the pros and cons of each. He has good and bad things to share about most and while he publicly butted heads with Donald Trump several times, he makes it clear that his only animosity towards him is on the way he downplayed the dangers of the pandemic in the beginning.

Like the film, lessons in the book are split almost 50/50 between HIV/AIDS and COVID-19. Published at a time when the pandemic is still in a state of ebb and flow, Dr. Fauci gives his optimistic view of both infectious diseases and paints an idyllic future where neither will be much feared. At the same time, he reflects on the way the country was unable to come together in the interest of public safety and the hurdles that need to be overcome to bring that vision to reality.

Fauci: Expect the Unexpected is a quick read, one that plays out faster than the film’s runtime. With a nice layout that makes it easy to reference anytime, there are takeaways for all aspects of life, including personal relationships and how to conduct yourself professionally. There’s greater significance for people in medical and scientific fields, but Dr. Fauci’s philosophies can be applied to anyone who reads them.

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Fauci: Expect the Unexpected: Ten Lessons on Truth, Service, and the Way Forward: Fauci, Anthony: Amazon.com