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Download The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast Audiobook, 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: June 2006 ISBN: 9780061209345
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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 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 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 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 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?? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stefani | 12/26/2013

    " I learned that we cannot depend on the "system" during a true emergency! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hugh Carson | 12/16/2013

    " If you want "The Truth" from a respected historian, this is it. Reads like a thriller, but accurately and precisely documented "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anastasia | 11/17/2013

    " I learned a lot from this long, well-researched, and very detailed book. I'm still shocked by the incompetence and brutality that accompanied the results of the hurricane. I thought the story line fell apart a little at the end, but the incredible amount of work Brinkley did to illuminate the few days before Katrina through 4 days afterward is definitely worth reading. Hopefully, we can all learn from this ugly part of American history to better prepare ourselves-- individually and bureaucratically-- for whatever calamities may befall us. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeff | 11/11/2013

    " Very comprehensive overview of the disaster "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandra | 10/31/2013

    " Now THIS is an account of what went on during Kartina. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peter | 7/19/2013

    " A great account of Hurricane Katrina "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Cara Ellison | 7/8/2013

    " DNF at 48%. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maureen Mantrop-utterback | 7/5/2013

    " had to read this one as my past includes several growing up years in New Orleans. This was such a tragedy "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 5/28/2013

    " This is very insightful book about the Katrina ordeal. It blends in ordinary people with the political aspects. It is well balanced in the recounting of events and seems objective and factual. Its a slow read but intended to give me more of a true account of this horrific event "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Megan Denkman | 5/5/2013

    " As a native of New Orleans, reading this book was quite personal. It was an awesome book about what happened before, during and after Hurricane Katrina. WOW! A very good account. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 4/6/2013

    " Read half. Will eventually finish when I get it back from Kristine. Anecdotal opposed to analytical. I was looking for the latter regarding Katrina, but the individual stories do knit together a pretty comprehensive idea of how and who this storm affected. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt Creamer | 5/19/2012

    " Comprehensive but workmanlike and maybe a bit too long "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brad | 12/24/2011

    " Greatly enjoyed this depiction of the horrors of Katrina. Brinkley captures both the individual experience and the much bigger picture and synthesizes it all into a devastating account of the disaster, natural and man made. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 11/27/2011

    " A must-read for all Americans "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emy | 8/31/2011

    " If you want to know where the local/state/national government failed during Hurricane Katrina, read this book. Brenden and I were fortunate enough to meet the author, Douglas Brinkley... a great historian who tells the story like it is without political bias. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stasia | 5/26/2011

    " Fantastic detail, very readable although it is a monster. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eileen | 3/20/2011

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

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amie | 1/12/2011

    " It amazes me that this happened. And, boy, do I need to get an emergency kit together. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Reid | 10/13/2010

    " Minute-by-minute account of a slow-motion train wreck, mainly caused by political and public service (think levee-board planning) failures in some cases over many decades. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hannaheriley | 5/16/2010

    " Awesome. This book was so intense. I felt like I was there. Intense!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Lou | 5/3/2010

    " I learned just how badly broken our federal systems are when they are "supposed" to be there to help in times of need. I learned that politicians will say anything to make excuses for their craven behavior and shift the blame wherever they can. Brinkley is thorough and pulls no punches. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Converse | 4/1/2010

    " Covers the events in the week starting with the Saturday before Katrina reached the Gulf Coast to the Saturday afterwards. Needs maps of New Orleans and Mississippi coast. Too many literary & popular culture references
    "

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About the Author
Author Douglas Brinkley

Douglas Brinkley is a professor of history at Rice University and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. Six of his books have been selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year, and The Great Deluge won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. He lives in Texas with his wife and three children.He has published several essays on Carter’s post-presidency, which have appeared in World Policy Journal, Foreign Affairs, Diplomatic History, and the New Orleans Review.

About the Narrator

Kyf Brewer is an actor, known for Serial Mom, Stop, Record, and Fallen Arches, and an Earphones Award–winning narrator.