A New Species of Trouble by Kai Erikson
The Human Experience of Modern Disasters

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Synopsis

In the twentieth century, disasters caused by human beings have become more and more common.

Unlike earthquakes and other natural catastrophes, this "new species of trouble" afflicts persons and groups in particularly disruptive ways.

With clear-eyed compassion, in vivid narrative and in participants' own words, Kai Erikson describes how certain communities have faced such disasters. He shows conclusively that new attention must be paid to their experiences if people are to maintain elementary confidence not only in themselves but in society, government, and even life itself.
 

About Kai Erikson

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Published July 17, 1995 by W. W. Norton & Company. 264 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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In all these instances, Erikson is heading toward a distinction between natural and unnatural disasters, arguing that while natural disasters (e.g., earthquakes and hurricanes) can sometimes build a sense of community, unnatural disasters usually destroy it along with any collective feeling of tr...

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Erikson examines how various communities and victims have dealt with man-made disasters, concluding that these experiences can help keep people's faith in the government and social systems.

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Publishers Weekly

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For the past 20 years Erikson, a sociology professor at Yale University, has studied comunities stunned by recent disasters.

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