The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is one of the darkest chapters is American history. A toxic combination of government neglect and socioeconomic inequality turned a crisis into a tragedy. The storm completely transformed one of the most beloved cities in America, leaving nearly 80 percent of New Orleans flooded and damaging 134,000 housing units, causing unprecedented destruction. Read more...
The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is one of the darkest chapters is American history. A toxic combination of government neglect and socioeconomic inequality turned a crisis into a tragedy. The storm completely transformed one of the most beloved cities in America, leaving nearly 80 percent of New Orleans flooded and damaging 134,000 housing units, causing unprecedented destruction. The response to Katrina is a topic of unending debate and anger. But out of the rubble, there is hope.
Watching coverage of the hurricane on television in 2005, noted urbanist and veteran journalist Roberta Brandes Gratz knew that the best chance for the city's recovery came from the people who would return to New Orleans. She also knew that she wanted to see for herself how the city would respond. Two years later, after having made several trips to the area and written several articles, Gratz bought a house in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans and immersed herself in the life of the city.
"We re Still Here Ya Bastards" presents an unprecedented panoramic look at New Orleans recovery in the years following the hurricane. From the Lower Ninth Ward to the storied French Quarter, Gratz shares the stories of people who returned to their homes and have taken the rebuilding of their city into their own hands. An internationally renowned urban critic, Gratz shows how the city is recovering despite erroneous governmental policies that serve private interests rather than the public good.
By telling stories that are often ignored by the mainstream media, "We re Still Here Ya Bastards" shows the strength and resilience of a community that continues to work to rebuild New Orleans."
- ISBN-13: 9781568587448
- ISBN-10: 1568587449
- Publisher: Nation Books
- Publish Date: June 2015
- Page Count: 432
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-04-13
- Reviewer: Staff
Gratz’s love for New Orleans, her home since 2007, is evident in the pages of this challenging but rewarding exploration of the city, 10 years post-Katrina. Gratz (The Battle for Gotham) clearly did her homework, judging by the book’s seven-page bibliography. Early on, a quote from a resident perfectly sets the tone for the book, for New Orleans in the days following the levees’ collapse, and for the 10 years of rebuilding: “There is no other cavalry coming... We are the cavalry.” Gratz covers a wide range of topics: the city’s still ongoing recovery; the new, sustainable “Brad Pitt Houses”; and gentrification, “the biggest fear in some New Orleans neighborhoods.” She also strives to give context to the city’s current struggles by explaining historical elements such as the role often played by women in urban renewal projects. Readers will wish she had expanded and deepened the stories from residents that she uses to make transitions to new topics. Though Gratz is at pains to characterize New Orleans as “resilient” and “irrepressible,” the book’s mood—like the success of the city’s rebuilding efforts—comes across as mixed at best, leaving readers with the impression that a “lost generation” continues to struggle. (June)