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Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster

by

Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster Cover

ISBN13: 9780465017720
ISBN10: 046501772x
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

When Hurricane Katrina tore through New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, hundreds of thousands were left behind to suffer the ravages of destruction, disease, and even death. The majority of these people were black; nearly all were poor. The Federal governments slow response to local appeals for help is by now notorious. Yet despite the cries of outrage that have mounted since the levees broke, we have failed to confront the disasters true lesson: to be poor, or black, in todays ownership society, is to be left behind. Displaying the intellectual rigor, political passion, and personal empathy that have won him acclaim and fans all across the color line, Michael Eric Dyson offers a searing assessment of the meaning of Hurricane Katrina. Combining interviews with survivors of the disaster with his deep knowledge of black migrations and government policy over decades, Dyson provides the historical context that has been sorely missing from public conversation. He explores the legacy of black suffering in America since slavery and ties its psychic scars to todays crisis. And, finally, his critique of the way black people are framed in the national consciousness will shock and surprise even the most politically savvy reader. With this clarion call Dyson warns us that we can only find redemption as a society if we acknowledge that Katrina was more than an engineering or emergency response failure. From the TV newsroom to the Capitol Building to the backyard, we must change the way we relate to the black and the poor among us. Whats at stake is no less than the future of democracy.

Synopsis:

Readers will discover what Hurricane Katrina revealed about the fault lines of race and poverty in America--and what lessons must be learned from the flood--from bestselling Rhip hop intellectualS Michael Eric Dyson.

Synopsis:

A critical assessment of Hurricane Katrina

Synopsis:

A searing assessment of the meaning of Hurricane Katrina combining interviews with survivors of the disaster and the historical context that has been sorely missing from public conversation.

Synopsis:

Displaying the intellectual rigor, political passion, and personal empathy that have won him acclaim, Dyson offers a searing assessment of the meaning of Hurricane Katrina. He warns that society must acknowledge that Katrina was more than an engineering or emergency response failure.

Synopsis:

When Hurricane Katrina tore through New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, hundreds of thousands were left behind to suffer the ravages of destruction, disease, and even death. The majority of these people were black; nearly all were poor. Displaying the intellectual rigor, political passion, and personal empathy that have won him acclaim and fans all across the color line, Michael Eric Dyson offers a searing assessment of the meaning of Hurricane Katrina. With this clarion call Dyson warns us that we can only find redemption as a society if we acknowledge that Katrina was more than an engineering or emergency response failure. Whats at stake is no less than the future of democracy.

About the Author

Michael Eric Dyson, named by Ebony as one of the hundred most influential black Americans, is the author of sixteen books, including Holler if You Hear Me, Is Bill Cosby Right? and I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King Jr. He is currently University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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jgeneric, October 31, 2007 (view all comments by jgeneric)
Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster by Michael Eric Dyson

Review by: James Generic

Who else wasn't glued to their television set, or the newspapers, or their internet, or whatever, last late August into early September? It's not everyday that we see a city destroyed by a combination of a hurricane and government ineptitude. It's the second major disaster in just four years in the United States, after the attacks on the World Trade Center that killed 2000 people. Hurricane Katrina and the lackluster FEMA response killed 1,836, plus 705 people unaccounted for, as of May 19th, 2006. There was a rapid response to 9-11 attacks, when the victims were mostly white affluent people. There was a slow, too-little, too late response to Hurricane Katrina, when the victims were mostly poor and black. Today, fewer than half of New Orlean's population has returned, since many of them have nothing to return to.

Michael Eric Dyson, the author of "Is Bill Cosby Right?", writes in "Come Hell or High Water" of the meaning of the disaster. While it is true that Bush, Mike Brown, and local Louisiana politicians did not cause Hurricane Katrina, (though the magnitude of the hurricane was most likely highly worsened by global climate change), they certainly were responsible for the hundreds of thousands of people being stranded in New Orleans when help started arriving nearly five days afterwards.

Dyson spends much time exploring the cultural response of the mainstream to the hurricane, with the glaring implications of race in America. In a desperate situation with little hope for help, people in New Orleans began to take food from stores which had been abandoned in the wake of the hurricane. The media shortly separated the Black people trying to feed themselves into "looters" and the whites as "finding food". An absurd amount of attention became focused on people using the opportunity to take televisions and radios, though the media ignores the fact that people may have sold these appliances later on for food. The disaster of the Superdome, where 30,000 people waited for days while the Red Cross was turned away by the national guard because New Orleans was "too dangerous" (which later turned out to be mostly based on rumor.)

Hurricane Katrina seemed like the world turned upside down, but it really just brought already messed up situations, like white supremacy and capitalism, to be magnified ten-fold. I keep wondering why they didn't just evacuate everyone, and it turns out that Amtrak offered to provide free trains, but the city turned it down. The Levees weren't funded properly, leading to detoriation and busting up. FEMA didn't know what was going on, and followed every little procedure by the book, leading to necessary help not happening for days (for instance, FEMA officials were instructed not to help any locals unless they asked for help.) Later, a Lousina representative declared (off-the record) "We finally cleared up that public housing problem..."

For a step-by-step detailed look into what happened in the Deep South in August of 2005, pick this up, and prepare to shake your head in bewilderment at the people who run the United States. Reggie Bush or no, New Orleans has been forever changed.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780465017720
Author:
Dyson, Michael Eric
Publisher:
Basic Civitas Books
Subject:
Discrimination & Racism
Subject:
Natural Disasters
Subject:
Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - General
Subject:
Floods
Subject:
Hurricanes
Subject:
Disasters & Disaster Relief
Subject:
African American Studies
Subject:
Hurricane Katrina, 2005
Subject:
New Orleans (La.) Social conditions.
Subject:
Sociology-Disasters and Disaster Relief
Copyright:
Edition Description:
First Trade Paper Edition
Publication Date:
20070731
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 9
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.00 x 5.31 in 9.40 oz
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Engineering » Mechanical Engineering » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General Medicine
History and Social Science » African American Studies » General
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » General
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Racism and Ethnic Conflict
History and Social Science » Social Science » Disasters and Disaster Relief
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Meteorology

Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster Used Trade Paper
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$5.50 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Basic Civitas Books - English 9780465017720 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Readers will discover what Hurricane Katrina revealed about the fault lines of race and poverty in America--and what lessons must be learned from the flood--from bestselling Rhip hop intellectualS Michael Eric Dyson.
"Synopsis" by ,
A critical assessment of Hurricane Katrina
"Synopsis" by ,
A searing assessment of the meaning of Hurricane Katrina combining interviews with survivors of the disaster and the historical context that has been sorely missing from public conversation.
"Synopsis" by , Displaying the intellectual rigor, political passion, and personal empathy that have won him acclaim, Dyson offers a searing assessment of the meaning of Hurricane Katrina. He warns that society must acknowledge that Katrina was more than an engineering or emergency response failure.
"Synopsis" by ,
When Hurricane Katrina tore through New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, hundreds of thousands were left behind to suffer the ravages of destruction, disease, and even death. The majority of these people were black; nearly all were poor. Displaying the intellectual rigor, political passion, and personal empathy that have won him acclaim and fans all across the color line, Michael Eric Dyson offers a searing assessment of the meaning of Hurricane Katrina. With this clarion call Dyson warns us that we can only find redemption as a society if we acknowledge that Katrina was more than an engineering or emergency response failure. Whats at stake is no less than the future of democracy.
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