Come Hell or High Water by Michael Eric Dyson
Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster

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Synopsis

When Hurricane Katrina tore through New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, hundreds of thousands were left behind to suffer the ravages of destruction, disease, and even death. The majority of these people were black; nearly all were poor. The Federal government’s slow response to local appeals for help is by now notorious. Yet despite the cries of outrage that have mounted since the levees broke, we have failed to confront the disaster’s true lesson: to be poor, or black, in today’s ownership society, is to be left behind. Displaying the intellectual rigor, political passion, and personal empathy that have won him acclaim and fans all across the color line, Michael Eric Dyson offers a searing assessment of the meaning of Hurricane Katrina. Combining interviews with survivors of the disaster with his deep knowledge of black migrations and government policy over decades, Dyson provides the historical context that has been sorely missing from public conversation. He explores the legacy of black suffering in America since slavery and ties its psychic scars to today’s crisis. And, finally, his critique of the way black people are framed in the national consciousness will shock and surprise even the most politically savvy reader. With this clarion call Dyson warns us that we can only find redemption as a society if we acknowledge that Katrina was more than an engineering or emergency response failure. From the TV newsroom to the Capitol Building to the backyard, we must change the way we relate to the black and the poor among us. What’s at stake is no less than the future of democracy.
 

About Michael Eric Dyson

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Michael Eric Dyson, named by Ebony as one of the hundred most influential black Americans, is the author of sixteen books, including Holler if You Hear Me, Is Bill Cosby Right? and I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King Jr. He is currently University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University. He lives in Washington, D.C.
 
Published March 16, 2007 by Basic Civitas Books. 288 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Come Hell or High Water

Publishers Weekly

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The first major book to be released about Hurricane Katrina, Dyson's volume not only chronicles what happened when, it also argues that the nation's failure to offer timely aid to Katrina

Jan 16 2006 | Read Full Review of Come Hell or High Water: Hurr...

Publishers Weekly

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The first major book to be released about Hurricane Katrina, Dyson's volume not only chronicles what happened when, it also argues that the nation's failure to offer timely aid to Katrina's victims indicates deeper problems in race and class relations.

Jan 16 2006 | Read Full Review of Come Hell or High Water: Hurr...

News Review.

Michael Eric Dyson has made a career of placing racism and contemporary American culture in a context that makes sense—even to well-meaning white people who want to believe that the bad old days of white supremacy are far behind us.

Apr 13 2006 | Read Full Review of Come Hell or High Water: Hurr...

The Raw Reviewers

COME HELL OR HIGHWATER: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster is a personal and political statement as it highlights the covert politics of racism in this country.

| Read Full Review of Come Hell or High Water: Hurr...

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