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Catastrophe in the Making: The Engineering of Katrina & the Disasters of Tomorrow

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  38 ratings  ·  9 reviews
When houses are flattened, towns submerged, and people stranded without electricity or even food, we attribute the suffering to “natural disasters” or “acts of God.” But what if they’re neither? What if we, as a society, are bringing these catastrophes on ourselves?
That’s the provocative theory of Catastrophe in the Making, the first book to recognize Hurricane Katrina
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 8th 2009 by Shearwater
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Feb 28, 2010 rated it it was ok
"Catastrophe in the Making" started out with a well-crafted introduction on the formation and power of hurricanes. Later synopses of previous storms that hit New Orleans and their effects were equally compelling. Their overview of the immediate region and some of the early inherent environmental challenges it faced are concise and easily read as few assumptions about the reader's local knowledge are made. The political and economic background as they directly tie into the landscape of New Orlean ...more
Barbi Hayes
really informative book on politics and land management that led up to the Katrina disaster - and best take-away is: there are only two types of levels -- those that have failed and those that will fail!
Amara Tanith
A copy of this book was provided to me free via Netgalley for the purpose of review.

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, I had just celebrated my twelfth birthday the day before. As I've lived my entire life in Maryland, I am and was then no stranger to hurricanes. With my memory of Isabel fresh, I heard the news of Katrina's approach with some passing interest. But the storm wasn't going to reach my house, so it seemed an absolute world away; Louisiana, New Orleans, and the entire Mississipp
Maggie Hesseling
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A number of years ago one of my lecturer for an American History course made the claim that though Katrina was a natural disaster, the real disaster was that of governmental failure. Therefore, when I saw this on NetGally, I automatically requested it. I was not dissapointed. Though maybe not a popular view, this insight into the issues of disasters and their preventions hits the nail right on the head. We could and should do more. Our governments can let us down. But unless we realize that this ...more
Apr 06, 2010 rated it liked it
This book goes beyond the usual focus upon levee failures and slow relief efforts in analyzing the circumstances of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Instead, the authors emphasize a link between Harvey Molotch's Growth Machine concept and a history of uncoordinated economic growth in New Orleans, which they claim made the area more vulnerable to disasters. The main theme here — that the disaster was caused more by human impacts than natural ones — is a welcome addition to Katrina-related studies. ...more
Melissa Ooten
Jan 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love the premise of the book and how it calls into question the very idea of "natural" disasters. However, it gets into the nitty gritty of canal plans, etc which sent me skimming through some of the chapters. I had hoped to use it as an undergraduate text, but I now think that the students will get lost (or bored to tears) in all of the details. It's a bit more specialized than I had realized. ...more
Dec 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
The behind-the-scenes take on how hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans due to human negligence. The author cites multiple sources of neglect to prevent the disaster from happening and quite honestly I had no idea that so many agencies had been involved. I read it for a class in undergraduate and understood that even the most fortified cities can still fall because of lack of caution or foresight. Overall excellent resource for anyone wanting to go deeper into the impacts of the disaster.
Jan 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I realize by liking this book I am probably prescribing to a controversial point of view, but this book was fabulous. It's unusual to find a book of this genre that is so well written... ...more
Feb 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
An insightful book on the politics and decisions that lead to the tragedy that was Hurricane Katrina, this book goes far beyond the often discussed aftermath.
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