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Breach of Faith: Hurricane Katrina and the Near Death of a Great American City
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Most jarring of all, though, are the conspiracy theories held by the lower-river residents who believe the thunderous sounds heard during the hurricane was dynamite deliberately set to detonate the levee, thus protecting the wealthier white population up-river. There was a problem adding your email address. Please try again.
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References in Breach of Faith: Hurricane Katrina and the Near Death of a Great American City - GCIS
There are people convinced that the police seized the opportunity to round up the criminal element and dispatch them by the hundreds with bullets to the skull; that the throngs at the Superdome and Convention Center were turned into rampaging beasts who raped scores of women and children and murdered each other. Many bad things happened during Katrina, including a lethally clumsy attempt by the federal government to respond to the crisis created by the failure of a federal levee system.
But gang rapes and murderous rampages by trapped evacuees weren't part of it. The surprise was the ready willingness with which media a group pretty well schooled these days in avoiding racial and gender stereotypes fell into old habits and assumed the worst about New Orleans.
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It occurred to me early on that Katrina wasn't a discrete event and that much of what we saw on television in those first days and weeks the looting, the misery, the failed federal response was only a beginning. It suggested the storytelling strategy I used in Breach of Faith: Hurricane Katrina and the Near Death of a Great American City : Set several lives in motion, get to know them intimately, watch as these lives unfolded and decisions were forced upon us immediate decisions, made in desperation; longer-term decisions that would affect the rest of our lives.
There are men and women of means caught up in this tale, as well as the abject and despondent.
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There are rape victims and looters, scientists and politicians. A pregnant teenager preparing to drop out of school instead gets swept into the embrace of a rich doctor's family after evacuating to Georgia. A nanny is provided. The young mother is chauffeured to school.
They are all part of the Katrina story. As I write this, the Army Corps of Engineers is frantically at work trying to shore up the levees that failed but what about the ones that were only weakened?
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