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It Takes a Nation: How Strangers Became Family in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina Paperback – July 29, 2006
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"In these images and stories we see the American spirit at its best....Thanks to MoveOn's community, the victims of Hurricane Katrina found shelter--and thanks to the continued citizen activism these amazing stories will inspire, all of us can hope to rebuild the country in a better way." -- Naomi Wolf
"IT TAKES A NATION shows us that by joining together we can begin to heal the trauma that has forever changed the Gulf Coast and our country. The evacuees and housing donors who became family through this program are living and breathing on every page of this book." -- Michael Stipe, lead singer of R.E.M.
From the Publisher
An inspiring collection of stories and images from MoveOn.orgs Hurricane Housing project, which brought shelter and aid to thousands of Hurricane Katrina evacuees. Includes more than 40 full-color photos by New York Times photojournalist Carter Smith and others. With a foreword by Barack Obama, the recently elected Democratic Junior Senator for Illinois, civil rights attorney, and community organizer.
Top customer reviews
The stories of course, are much more than just narrations of friendships and happy encounters. Both survivors and the helpers candidly narrate the horrors of Katrina: being in houses watching water levels rise higher and higher, living for days on end in the Super Dome facing riots, rapes and murders, leaving behind family members and pets and wondering if they would survive, and the utter failure of action on the part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The survivors also give an in depth look at their city, New Orleans- a vibrant city of culture and music, but also a den of corruption and crime. A repeated element was the power of water in New Orleans: One survivor mentioned that she is able to differentiate the rain water, the water of the canal and the sea just by the smell and its feel in the air. Another theme was the unique and famous food bringing survivors and helpers together: red beans, ham, gumbo, jambalaya...
Interspersed among the stories are truly fantastic pictures. Some show the hurricane from an aerial/satellite view, others show pictures of houses and buildings flooded to roof tops, yet others show the great destruction wrought by the hurricane and the aftermath. Of course, there are charming pictures of the Survivors and helpers and their families.
All in all, this is a truly inspiring and thought provoking book. As many of the helpers mentioned, they felt that housing someone is a much more meaningful way to assist someone in need than just sending money. Furthermore, they felt that since their intentions were noble, they felt that they would have a good experience (and not end up housing a serial killer or violent criminal)- and this was more than borne out by their experiences. I thought, wow, hopefully one day I will have enough generosity of spirit to help in such a personal way.