WARNING A COMPLETELY REASONABLE AMOUNT OF CURSE WORDS, CONSIDERING THE TOPIC, ARE CONTAINED IN THE FOLLOWING REVIEW I had a vague understanding of what went down in New Orleans after Katrina hit, but after finishing this powerhouse history lesson by Brinkley, I realize I didn t know shit I mean, what the fuck Every other page filled me with disbelief I can t even begin to establish all of the factors that led to all the destruction, mismanagement, neglect, and chaos Factors such as the lack of preservation of Louisiana s wetlands, which used to serve as a natural buffer for hurricanes coming off the Gulf, but have all since disappeared due to their lucrative natural resources think natural gas, oil companies, etc Ya know what, I can t even list the stuff It s just too much Brinkley has done a great service to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast to present this astonishing piece of American history As angry and disgusted as Brinkley can come off at times understandably , he gives equal parts of the narrative over to the first responders and citizen heroes of the Gulf Coast and New Orleans Brinkley s beef is clearly with Mayor Nagin, Gov Blanco, Michael Brown and Michael Chertoff of FEMA, some of the NOPD, and the Bush Administration Basically, everyone who should have done something, were trusted to do something, and failed I look forward to when Brinkley to turns his angry tongue on BP.Please, please, don t be scared of this book I know it s long and you might be tempted to label it as depressing or maybe you ve had enough of Hurricane Katrina, but The Great Deluge highlights a crucial moment in American history, and five years later, it s still worth examining Also, God, if you can hear me, Please leave the Gulf Coast alone We get it You re not a fan Now just knock it off You know who has had it easy for a long time Vermont Nothing bad ever happens to Vermont Go pick on them.Quotes The fact that the federal response could have been better, starting at the moment the hurricane struck, begs the questions Under what circumstances could it have been better If the victims were white If they were rich If they had not been members of a voting bloc that the Republican Party had a motive to disperse The one that rings truest, though, is that cronyism riddled FEMA and its contractors in the Bush administration, making incompetence and not racism the key to the response pg 618 Too much bureaucracy can be a big, big problem in a catastrophe pg 578, Lt Jimmy Duckworth of the Coast Guard A political lesson had been learned in 2004 , one that unfortunately wouldn t help the Gulf South in 2005 it s best to have a natural disaster in the heat of campaign season, when your state Florida is up for grabs during a presidential election year Partisan politics were certainly in the air during the busy 2004 hurricane season pg 249 Fascinating read Hard to believe the USA let down so many of their citizens when we can come to the aid of so many countries in the world Wish there had been a map of the areas effected as I am not familiar with the regions Getting out my atlas and checking the footnotes was tedious Great historical readnow I may have to reread Issac s Storm again. An outstanding review of the Katrina disaster Plenty of blame to spread around Governor Blanco, Mayor Nagin, the NOPD Too much blame perhaps on FEMA director Brown, probably because of the Helluva job, Brownie comment made by President Bush, who deserves a lot of blame One guy that got off too easy was Michael Chertoff, the head of Homeland Security Many don t realize FEMA was under his control Race enters the picture, as does poverty Remember when we thought finally America would fight poverty Now we are going in the opposite direction again And here s a personal comment The Republican party thrives on government failure So even if a Republican fails, it helps other anti government Republicans A winning plan One way we are all responsible is our failure to fight climate change and environmental degradation Folks, the worst is yet to come. Apparently the only people able to get their heads out of their asses were the United States Coast Guard, the Cajun Navy , and Lt Gen Russel Honore Here s a chilling quote from a reporter and former swift boat pilot who helped out The water didn t remind me of Vietnam, he said The dying did Knowing people were dying and hearing stories and talking to people who were in the process of dying, who were going to die as soon as we hung up That reminded me a lot of Vietnam When the people came out with me from our studio to the flooded cars, they were hysterical or shocked I felt extremely calm Vietnam When the windows were blowing out and I m afraid of heights if you put me on a ladder , I wasn t afraid I was calm Vietnam I think it was thirteen months of combat, and if you lose control, if you get emotional or you get afraid or too brave or just don t stay calm and think and be relaxed, you re going to die So Vietnam was a gigantic plus It comes back to the fact that I have been to a bad place I had that bad place to go back to, that helped me remain calm enough to get the job doneI had seen the birds disappear before. Very disturbing look at the immediate aftermath the first week of the damage wrought by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans with occasionally brief sidebars to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi Time and again the incredible ineptitude, incompetence, pettiness, lack of concern for others, and preoccupation with looking good themselves defined the government officials whose jobs were to make sure that New Orleanians were taken care of to the best extent possible Nobody who had responsibility other than some brave National Guard and Coast Guard members came out looking good Ray Nagin, the mayor, may have been the worst of the bunch A leader AWOL, paranoid about his own safety and petrified to show his face in public His behavior was despicable He was a coward Governor Kathleen Blanco meant well but was overwhelmed and did not effectively manage the crisis She was too emotional and too concerned about states rights at a time when she should have accepted whatever help was offered regardless of the parameters that came with it President George W Bush s astonishing lack of concern with the plight of the victims was a disgrace He truly failed at this important moment in my opinion, the single biggest blunder of his presidency and that is saying something While I do think that, deep down, he did care about the people, he actions and words You re doing a heck of a job, Brownie said otherwise Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Security, came across as a dispassionate, too busy to be bothered bureaucrat who was amazingly out of touch with reality, should have been fired immediately for his dismal performance And the same goes for Michael Brown, the embattled and completely ineffective director or FEMA Brown was concerned about how he looked on TV, and where he was going to eat dinner at in Baton Rouge, than with helping sick and dying people get evacuated out of New Orleans These people honestly probably could not have performed their respective roles any worse than they did I would be remiss if I did not mention the atrocious behavior of many New Orleans Police officers some who stole Cadillacs and fled the city, others who openly threatened people for no apparent reason, and many who were just unresponsive to the needs of the citizens Plenty of blame to go around with regular New Orleanians as well thanks to many people who could have left prior to the storm hitting but intentionally chose to disregard the warning and instead decided to stay and tough it out The sick and elderly, of which there were many, who were physical unable to leave is a completely different story and a sad one at that as nobody seemed to really care about them Most disturbing to me of anything in the book is the depictions of the massive looting that took place throughout the city Truly disgusting People breaking into stores just because they could they needed no other reason beyond that And the fact that so many of them would defecate where they had looted, is repulsive It reminds me animals trying to mark out their territory My God, how revolting Brinkley kept the pace up, switching between stories of local heroes saving people thankfully many, many everyday people in and out of New Orleans stepped things up and literally were life savers to thousands of stranded people and the bureaucratic mistakes and incompetence fouling up rescue efforts I thought that, at times, Brinkley got too carried away with a certain person s story, over dramatizing things as the story is based off their recollections and of course many people were probably engaging in a natural tendency to exaggerate their accomplishments Also, he moves so quickly between talking about the political figures and the local, on the ground rescues, that it results in an uneven book although I recognize that he was going by date, and not necessarily by a particular person s story. Listen, I m not stupid, I knew sooner or later I was gonna have to mess around with that big storm they got over in Florence, figured I d give this a read and see what all the fuss is about Boring Didn t we do this last year You think I m gonna waste my time babysitting those pasta eaters and let the wheels fall right off this investigation, you got another thing coming But don t worry folks, I got the situation covered FLORENCE IS IN SAFE HANDS I got Pete taking care of the hurricane thing as we speak, let everyone know he s got full authority to act for me on this Guy s been in and out of meetings all day, what a trooper I figure he knows his way around a mop and all that, this is his kinda party than mine Division of labor Meantime I m gonna really double down and find that fink agitator once and for all I m gettin real close, I can feel it Someone around here is running scared, but it ain t gonna do any good Hurricane Donald is coming In The Span Of Five Violent Hours On August Hurricane Katrina Destroyed Major Gulf Coast Cities And Flattened Miles Of Coastline Yet Those Wind Torn Hours Represented Only The First Stage Of The Relentless Triple Tragedy That Katrina Brought To The Entire Gulf Coast, From Louisiana To Mississippi To AlabamaFirst Came The Hurricane, One Of The Three Strongest Ever To Make Landfall In The United States Mile Per Hour Winds, With Gusts Measuring Than Miles Per Hour Ripping Buildings To PiecesSecond, The Storm Surge Flooding, Which Submerged A Half Million Homes, Creating The Largest Domestic Refugee Crisis Since The Civil War Eighty Percent Of New Orleans Was Under Water, As Debris And Sewage Coursed Through The Streets, And Whole Towns In South Eastern Louisiana Ceased To ExistAnd Third, The Human Tragedy Of Government Mis Management, Which Proved As Cruel As The Natural Disaster Itself Ray Nagin, The Mayor Of New Orleans, Implemented An Evacuation Plan That Favored The Rich And Healthy Kathleen Blanco, Governor Of Louisiana, Dithered In The Most Important Aspect Of Her Job Providing Leadership In A Time Of Fear And Confusion Michael C Brown, The FEMA Director, Seemed Concerned With His Sartorial Splendor Than The Specter Of Death And Horror That Was Taking New Orleans Into Its GripIn The Great Deluge, Bestselling Author Douglas Brinkley, A New Orleans Resident And Professor Of History At Tulane University, Rips The Story Of Katrina Apart And Relates What The Category Hurricane Was Like From Every Point Of View The Book Finds The True Heroes Such As Coast Guard Officer Jimmy Duckworth And Hurricane Jock Tony ZumbadoThroughout The Book, Brinkley Lets The Katrina Survivors Tell Their Own Stories, Masterly Allowing Them To Record The Nightmare That Was Katrina The Great Deluge Investigates The Failure Of Government At Every Level And Breaks Important New Stories Packed With Interviews And Original Research, It Traces The Character Flaws, Inexperience, And Ulterior Motives That Allowed The Katrina Disaster To Devastate The Gulf Coast I cannot finish this book, there are so many inaccuracies that I can t even get past the first 100 pages I was utterly disgusted by the inaccuracies This was written by a History professor who obviously doesn t know the history of New Orleans or its surrounding areas In one section of the book he talks about how the levees were blown in 1927 at Caernarvon, Louisiana, then a few pages later says that the levee was blown in the Lower 9th Ward There is STILL a crater where the levee was blown in Caernarvon because of rather large amount of explosives used Had the levee been blown in the Lower 9th, there would have been flooding in Arabi and maybe Chalmette, and being that my family lived there at the time, I know for a fact that there WASN T He paints the Lower 9th as always being a black community when it had been some what diverse at one time and many residents moved to places like St Bernard Parish and Jefferson My best friend s father grew up in the Lower 9th and moved to St Bernard in the early 70 s as did many of his friends The time line may be right, but his account of the history of the area is wrong Something I find rather disgusting from a so called history professor How hard is it to check your facts Shouldn t some one who is an educator be teaching people things that are the truth rather than speculation and out right falsehoods This is a shining example of why the U.S fails at so much these days Hurry up and put something out even if it s bad information just to cash in on the almighty dollar Your integrity will remain intact because it s for the greater good BS It s just laziness. The book was a very hard read for me, I was born and raised in Metairie, Louisiana, which is a suburb of New Orleans I worked at Southern Baptist Hospital, known as Memorial Medical Center, for over seven years I worked for Charity Hospital University Hospital right after nursing school I have very fond memories of these places My husband and I moved away from the area in 1997 due to his work I know people who were affected by Katrina and their lives will never be the same I wanted a real timeline to understand what happened during Katrina I asked for it and I got it I applaud Douglas Brinkley on a job well done New Orleans and the outlining areas was greatly affected by Hurricane Katrina and will never be the same I hope that the lessons that were learned thru this horrible incident will never have to be repeated. I ve been looking for a comprehensive book explaining the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and finally found it Zeitoun was not At than 600 pages, it s a big boy, but I feel thoroughly educated about what and how it happened, and overall found it riveting Interesting to read this during hurricane season with New Orleans flooded again..
Douglas Brinkley is a professor of history at Rice University and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair The Chicago Tribune has dubbed him America s new past master His most recent books are The Quiet World, The Wilderness Warrior, and The Great Deluge Six of his books have been selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year He lives in Texas with his wife and three children.
- 736 pages
- The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast
- Douglas Brinkley
- 23 November 2019 Douglas Brinkley