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"There is no such thing as a 'natural' disaster," writes Romain Huret in his introduction to this multidisciplinary study of the events surrounding and the legacy of Hurricane Katrina. Though nature produced Katrina's rising waters and destructive winds, a vast array of manmade factors shaped the scope of the storm's impact as well as the local and national response to it. In Hurricane Katrina in Transatlantic Perspective, American and European scholars approach this infamous storm and its aftermath through a variety of disciplines, from music to geography to anthropology, creating a nuanced understanding of how society reacts to and later remembers times of disaster.
Richard Campanella and Romain Huret examine the particular geographical and political mix that set the stage for Katrina's devastation, especially among the poorest populations of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Jean Kempf, James Boyden, Andrew Diamond, and Thomas Jessen Adams address the ideological biases and racial stereotypes that infused local and national commentary in the days and weeks after the storm. Finally, Bruce Raeburn, Sara Le Menestrel, Anne M. Lovell, and Randy J. Sparks explore the impact of this powerful tropical event on the city's institutions and cultural organizations.
Hurricane Katrina in Transatlantic Perspective offers a profound and innovative collection of insights on one of the most significant environmental catastrophes in U.S. history, forcing us to examine the cultural actors that transformed a natural disaster into a humanitarian crisis.