Hurricane Katrina: Response and Responsibilities

John Brown Childs, editor

On August 29, 2005, the most destructive and costly natural disaster in the history of the United States struck the Gulf Coast, displacing over a million residents. Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath exposed deep problems in the social and political landscape of the United States. A clear divide was visible between those who were able to leave the city, and those who had to remain; between those who received quick and efficient aid, and those who languished; between black and white, rich and poor, old and young. In this book, scholars, writers, and activists take up the challenge of looking critically at the hurricane and the rifts in American society which it brought to light. They offer careful analysis of social inequalities, detailed criticism of the events following the hurricane, and possible ways of addressing the inequalities which it brought to light.

From the Foreword:

My intention in developing this book is to make available a wide range of accessible perspectives about the impact and significance of Hurricane Katrina. That disaster exposed and raised many difficult and core dilemmas facing New Orleans, the Gulf region, and the United States. So it is fitting that there be a variety of responses in this book that address the multifaceted question of responsibilities — not just about the causes, but also concerning that which we in the United States can do, indeed must do, to address underlying vulnerabilities stemming from deep-seated inequality in this country. With this intention, I invited a range of participants to contribute short essays that provide analysis and illumination about Katrina and its implications. These essays will help fill the space between the immediate journalism that emerged during the Katrina catastrophe and the more detailed writing that will undoubtedly appear in the next year or two. Because this book’s writers make reference to discussions from a diverse range of sources, this book also provides a useful roadmap to some important analyses that came out soon after Katrina.

— John Brown Childs

All proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the People’s Hurricane Relief Fund, Vanguard Public Foundation.

182 + 12 pages      7" x 4.5"      US $10      order
ISBN: 0-9712546-2-1