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Extended Audio Sample The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, by Douglas Brinkley Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,006 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Douglas Brinkley Narrator: Kyf Brewer Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In the span of five violent hours on August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed major Gulf Coast cities and flattened 150 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 Alabama.

First was the hurricane, one of the three strongest ever to make landfall in the United States -- 150 mile per hour winds, with gusts measuring more than 180 miles per hour ripping buildings to pieces. Second, the storm-surge flooding, which submerged a half million homes, creating the largest refugee crisis since the Civil War. Eighty percent of New Orleans was under water, and whole towns in southeastern Louisiana ceased to exist. And third, the human tragedy of government mismanagement, which proved as cruel as the natural disaster itself.

In 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 3 hurricane was like from every point of view, while recognizing the true heroes.

Throughout the book, Brinkley lets the Katrina survivors tell their own stories, masterfully allowing them to record the nightmare that was Katrina. The Great Deluge investigates the failure of government at each 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 turn the Gulf Coast into a scene from a war movie or a third-world documentary.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Great Deluge,’ captures the human toll of Katrina as graphically as the most vivid newspaper and television accounts.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Written with verve and energy, this is Brinkley’s best book to date.”

    Times Picayune 

  • “More dispassionate and analytical books will be written about Katrina, few will capture the human drama as well as Brinkley’s.”

    Financial Times

  • “The most evocative, soul-shaking account of the calamity.”

    New York Times

  • “The writing soars…If journalism is history's first draft, then The Great Deluge is 1.5.”

    USA Today

  • Winner of the 2007 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2007 Audie Award Finalist
  • New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction, 2006
  • A 2006 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Current Interest
  • Audio Publisher’s Association “Audie” Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Trish | 2/14/2014

    " This was a great book. Brinkley details the failed government response to Katrina on all levels (federal, state, local) and describes in vivid detail what life was like after the storm. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Eileen Whitfield | 2/7/2014

    " Everything you should know about this American tragedy -- the failure of geography, the failure of history, and the failure of the American government. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Rebecca | 1/20/2014

    " This is a great book on Katrina and I like Douglas Brinkley's work. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Karl | 1/13/2014

    " A good book on the storm. It would have made me very upset if I hadn't seen it as it happened. One question, Did the FEMA convoy really get lost because the road signs were down and they didn't have GPS navigation devices?? "

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