The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast
First came the hurricane, one of the three stronges...more
I had a vague understanding of what went down in New Orleans after Katrina hit, but after finishing this powerhouse history lesson by Brinkley, I realize I didn't know shit. I mean, what the fuck. Every other page filled me with disbelief. I can't even begin to establish all of the factors that led to all the destruction, mismanagement, neglect, and chaos. Factors such as the lac...more
"The water didn't remind me of Vietnam," he said. "The dying did. Knowing people were dying and hearing stories and talking to people who were in the process of dying, who were going to die as soon as we hung up. That reminded me a lot of Vietnam. When the people c...more
We all know the outcome of Katrina and New Orleans. Even so, there is a lot to be learned here about the response (or lack of same) to the next disaster and the dangers of a disinterested, disengaged bureaucracy (and President) mixing with local politics and ineptitude....more
I wanted to read just one good book on Katrina, which after all was the greatest disaster to befall an American city in almost a hundred years. Seems important to know about, so I looked around. This book got the most praise, the most awards, and the most blurbs, so I gave it a chance.
Besides being light on facts and heavy on judgmental analysis, the main problem with the book is that Brinkley seems eerily compelled to relate the life story of every single one of the hundreds o...more
I initially “read” the audiobook version of Douglas Brinkley’s The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, a chronicling of the events leading up to and following Hurricane Katrina’s landfall(s) on the Gulf Coast in August 2005. Brinkley, a historian and New Orleans resident, offers a level-headed assessment of the local, state and federal government’s preparations for and response to what would ultimately be...more
Produced by Recorded Books, downloaded from audible.com.
This is an extremely long book (24 cassettes) that documents the entire week between the time Katrina was expected and warnings to leave New Orleans began to be heard, not from the mayor or the governor or the federal government though. We go through the hurricane, and then overwhelming flooding afterward, the horrendous conditions that p...more
Professor of history and director of the Roosevelt Center at Tulane University, Douglas Brinkley, whose previous efforts include The Boys of Pointe du Hoc and The Majic Bus, brings an historical and personal perspective to bear on one of the first books to detail the Katrina disaster. Some critics point out factual errors and editorial lapses that detract from the author's valuable story, and Diane Jennings writes that Brinkley's book "will be among the earliest, but not among the best, books ab...more
I hope that anyone assigned or working in disaster planning/emergency preparedness reads this. The lessons to be learned are many, as are the consequences for not properly planning. The poor decisions made by those in charge as well as the conditions of those who stayed in the path of the Katrina were all horrific. I remember watching news coverage at the time and...more
Late in the book the author gets into the CYA mechinizations of the Bush White House. Its a lesson on how to play people really. If you think you know who's to blame, who was hiding things, etc. you've got some surprises comin...more
I was glad to see he included the whole Gulf Coast not just New Orleans. His characters are for the most part accurately portrayed. The exception is Nagin. Brinkley bends over backwards to absolve Nagin.
Brinkley rambles back and forth on the timeline leaving the reader confused. He is one place when...more
The book is well-written, but is probably ~200 pages too long, in my opinion. By about 60% into the book, the injustices and incompetence become de rigeur. Which is not to say it becomes any less angering as an observer, of course, but I felt that the book grew stagnant and became...more
There is no finger pointing, nor is there any political leaning. It reads like a story out of Time- except it is 646 pages.
It is the story of Katrina from 3 days before the storm until many weeks after. It is a perspective from many people and politicians. Famous and not-so-famous people.
It is a sadness that is most profound as the reader gets thru it, knowing how we, as a nation, turned our backs on our own!
This is no...more
Brinkley is a first rate historian who has laid the groundwork for future reflection on this momentous event. We see confusion on every level, the break down of leadership and government on one level and the loss of civil order on another. Yet we also see heroism within every level, people who stepped forward despite the ineptitude of a ma...more
The Red Cross, whose responses are almost entirely staffed by volunteers can not, and should not be in the position of putting said volunteers into the path of danger. They're there to *help* people, not become statistics.
So: I find it hard to fault ARC for not choosing shelter sites where they knew it would flood and their volunteers would find themselves, an...more
To be fair, it wasn't just the Feds that weren't prepared. The City of New Orleans, and all it's divisions (especially NOPD) and the State of Lousiana, were woefully unprepared and non-chalant about the days leading...more
Brinley, a New Orleanian himself, is able to humanize the story with numerous stories from those residents who endured the storm and its aftermath while at the same time laying out the logistics of the storm and governmental response through a myriad of interviews with weather ex...more