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Joplin : The Miracle of the Human Spirit Paperback – May 22, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Tate Publishing & Enterprises (May 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1620247038
  • ISBN-13: 978-1620247037
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #619,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Large in stature, Mark Rohr presents an imposing figure but those who have seen him react to the events following the May 22, 2011 tornado that tore through his city, know that his sensitive emotions overflow. It is with this characteristic, yet never yielding to the demands of his position as Joplin City Manager, that, in his book "Joplin - The Miracle of the Human Spirit," he has chronicled the aftermath of the storm and his role in it.

"I have always felt that my entire life had been a preparation for a great challenge," Rohr writes. His curriculum vitae attests to having served at previous posts in cities in which he aggressively sought improvement and growth. "How grateful I would be for this level of experience," Rohr admits.

But, of course, no one can be prepared for the tragedy and hardship that comes from chaos and total devastation. Some of it becomes a learning experience and Rohr would be the first to admit that sometimes trial and error becomes the only viable method. In his retelling Rohr is able to provide for other city managers the "Ten Tenets of Disaster Management" that include staying in touch with the people, capitalizing on the good will of volunteers and donors and staying focused on what has to be done. In his book he outlines the four stages of disaster recovery as: search and rescue, debris removal, demolition and rebuilding. Achieving each stage is easier said than done.

What the reader sees is the progression from a third of the city in ruins to its stage one rebirth. The challenge chronicled by Rohr is in keeping Joplin's citizens motivated to rebuild and not leave and to generate outside interest that doesn't move on with the newest disaster.
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This book gives an account of that tragic day in Joplin unlike any other you will read -- it reads like a diary in the best sense. It gives a look into the incomprehensible pain and responsibility so many in Joplin felt that day and in the days and months to follow.
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