The Fight for Home by Daniel Wolff
How (Parts of) New Orleans Came Back

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Synopsis

When Daniel Wolff first headed down to New Orleans five months after the levees breached, he thought he might spend a year reporting on the recovery ahead. He found people desperate to tell their stories; they had lost the documents of their personal history - the photos and diaries - in the flood. They wanted to recover and preserve their stories through telling, and as their recovery dragged on and they struggled to make their government keep its promises, they became desperate about the recorders and cameras turning away. A year of reporting became five.Wolff follows the inevitable difficulties of rebuilding a city almost from scratch. A quarter of the population chose not to return; those who did had to rebuild not just houses but community. The city of their memory, their model, had one of the worst crime rates and worst school systems in the country; yet an organized plan for a brighter future might eliminate the very neighborhoods they had returned to fight for. The government was incompetent; the contractors were corrupt. In this environment, trust becomes a radical act and hope is its own small miracle. The Fight for Home introduces an amazing cast of characters: ex-addicts and church women, ex-Black Panthers and Sons of the Confederacy; urban planners and anarchists. As their journeys unfold, Fight for Home becomes a story of surviving not just a flood, but the emergency of the everyday - of surviving in America.
 

About Daniel Wolff

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Daniel Wolff is the author of How Lincoln Learned to Read, a Chicago Tribune Editor's Choice pick; 4th of July, Asbury Park, a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice pick; You Send Me: The Life and Times of Sam Cooke, a national bestseller; and two volumes of poetry, among other books. His writing has appeared in publications ranging from Vogue to Wooden Boat to Education Weekly. He is the co-producer, with Jonathan Demme, of several documentary film projects on New Orleans.
 
Published August 7, 2012 by Bloomsbury USA. 350 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Self Help. Non-fiction

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Wolff employs the present tense throughout, an effective device that helps him communicate the smells of decay, the depth of desperation and the powerful frustrations of people who feel abandoned in their own land.

May 15 2012 | Read Full Review of The Fight for Home: How (Part...

Christian Science Monitor

The devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina has few equals in the annals of US natural disasters: The third strongest hurricane ever recorded to make landfall in the US when it struck on the morning of August 29th, 2005, it quickly submerged 80 percent of New Orleans under water, destroying over...

Aug 21 2012 | Read Full Review of The Fight for Home: How (Part...

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