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Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Security Paperback – May 29, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
--Stephen Flynn, The Washington Post
The popular new release from Sebastian Junger. Learn more
Top Customer Reviews
Anyone who's ever worked for the federal government won't be surprised to learn that operational results are often less than the sum of their bureaucratic and even well-meaning parts.
But finger-pointers take note: Highlighting the federal government's miserable performance is not tantamount to forgiving an ineffective state and local response. Identifying federal failures merely confirms that, in the end, there's more than enough blame to go around.
"Disaster" is about much more than the anguished wait of those at the Superdome or the Convention Center for days after last August's storm. It's about the bureaucratic bungling that eventually led to FEMA being utterly unprepared to handle the crisis it faced last summer.
"Disaster" is more than a history of failure of the levees and floodgates around New Orleans. It's a detailed recounting of how different arms of the federal government failed to protect an urban population for which it had primary responsibility and how, once disaster struck, that same federal government demonstrated itself to be equally incapable of offering aid.Read more ›
Here's as plain as I can put it: Cooper and Block have written the finest "top-down" book on Katrina to date, and I don't expect it to be surpassed anytime soon.
The research is impeccable, and I would love for the D.C.-area (1-time reviewers) who pan this book to give examples of the "fictions" about which they complain. Not only is "Disaster" must-reading for anyone who cares about the Katrina story but, also, for anyone who is interested in the priorities and effectiveness of the Dept. Homeland Security.
I give this work my highest recommendation.
They have put together a wonderful timeline of events before, during, and after Katrina. They noted such contextual factors as the local response to Hurricane Dennis, which has been overwhelmingly ignored by the national media. As an early Katrina evacuee, I found it very interesting how much debate was going on in Washington, even as my family was on the evacuation trail.
No book could comprehensively cover a disaster the scale of Katrina. The authors made only passing attempts to chronicle the activities of local and state officials, and those only when the activities impacted the Federal decisions or efforts. They also kept the focus largely on New Orleans, while noting the similarities to the response in other areas. Their narrowness of focus is both a strength and a weakness. The book did not address the fundamental philosophical issues of the role of government in storm response.
The authors have done a wonderful job of providing insight into the personalities and organizations that shaped the national response effort. The chapter on people who worked around the system was an extremely good read as evidence that good people can make a difference when they do the right thing. Overall, the book is worth the read just for the insight into the Katrina timeline from a Federal perspective.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great detail in a vivid widesweeping retelling of Katrina's impact, sorting out the people, organizations and interactions, while focusing on personalities, positions and... Read morePublished 5 months ago by chris perrin
Great book. Very very well written and is definitely useful for certain classes. Amazing pictures and very easy to read.Published on December 7, 2013 by vron
I had a tough time putting this book down. The detail included was outstanding. The authors told the real story, no matter who might be offended. Read morePublished on May 6, 2013 by SandyAnn
Purchased for class for a degree in Emergency Management. Learned many things about Katrina that were never publicized through the media. Read morePublished on February 20, 2013 by Kirk Ney
I started this book with a serious amount of trepidation thinking that it would be just another cheap bashing of Michael Brown, FEMA Director at the time of Katrina. Read morePublished on November 30, 2012 by CP
Bought this for a class and found it very interesting reading. If you want to see our govenments mis-steps and misapproppriations of money read this.Published on March 15, 2012 by Denver Dawn
Yes, this book provided an in-depth review of Hurricane Katrina, pre and post.
It accounts for all the key players. It hurls blame at all the same people. Read more
Maddening to read, this is a very clear-eyed and even-handed account of the government's response to Katrina. Read morePublished on July 7, 2008 by Amy Russell