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What Fresh Hell?: The Best of Levees Not War: Blogging on Post-Katrina New Orleans and America, 2005-2015 Paperback – August 29, 2015
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"A work of provocative and exhilarating populism . . . This collection . . . is polished and refreshingly economical. The pieces . . . recall Molly Ivins's puckish cynicism . . . Due to their careful selection and organization, they have most of the strengths and few of the shortcomings of the blog form. LaFlaur, a Louisiana native, focuses primarily on Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, which provides a clear lens through which to view the U.S.'s environmental fecklessness, crumbling infrastructure, and weakened social contract. --Publishers Weekly (BookLife)
"Mark LaFlaur's genuine love and concern for the future of Louisiana shines throughout this collection of blog posts and interviews. He also manages to pull the many coastal issues into focus in a very readable way." --Ivor van Heerden, former deputy director, LSU Hurricane Center, and author of The Storm "Mark LaFlaur's Levees Not War has been a clear, progressive voice of warning and hope for New Orleans and the surrounding region in New York and the world since Hurricane Katrina, providing incisive news and commentary on the storm, its aftermath, and the rebirth of his hometown." --Mark Schleifstein, Pulitzer Prize-winning environment reporter, The Times-Picayune, and coauthor of Path of Destruction
From the Author
Levees Not War is a New Orleans-dedicated, New York-based blog that focuses on the environment, infrastructure, war and peace, and progressive politics--sexy things like that. I started Levees Not War in the months following Hurricane Katrina (August 29, 2005). What would soon take shape as a website and then a blog began as a determined, persistent series of letters faxed and snail-mailed to members of Congress and to the news media, imploring them to keep the financial and humanitarian assistance coming to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, and keep sending reporters and camera crews, please.
Levees Not War was prompted by a wish to help my beloved home state. The letters and then the blog, launched in December 2005, were a way for a homesick transplant to try to help after the most destructive and traumatizing catastrophe in New Orleans's threehundred-year history.
In this ten years' collection you will find pieces on hurricanes, Louisiana's environmental predicament, the BP disaster, and climate change; on infrastructure and public works in a time of job-killing scrooges (with a definite nostalgia for Franklin Roosevelt's WPA and CCC programs); on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and beyond; plenty about politics, including a mad tea party and half-mute Democrats; blogging and merrymaking with friends in New Orleans, with a dash of burlesquery; on-the-scene reporting from Occupy Wall Street; remembrances of Katrina and 9/11, and tributes to activist leaders such as Medgar Evers, Tom Hayden, John F. Kennedy, and an early founder of Greenpeace. After the interviews with Harry Shearer and experts on the environment and infrastructure, there is a bibliography to point readers to further sources of information, organizing, and activism. This and much more. Jump in at any point. I hope you enjoy the book -- and the blog.
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