Voices from the Storm

Lola Vollen and Chris Ying, eds., Vocies from the Storm: The People of New Orleans on Hurricane Katrina and its Aftermath (San Francisco: McSweeneys, 2008)

Vollen - Voices from the Storm
Hurricane Katrina has been called the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States. The devastation wrought by the hurricane and the failure of the city’s flood-control system stand out as a monument to the power of nature. However, far worse than the storm in the minds of many was the failure of timely, rational and humane response to the tragedy. All levels of government from the city to the federal failed to respond to the suffering. The stories of the survivors are compelling.

This book uses first person reports of the events of the storm and its aftermath. Expertly edited, thirteen men and women of New Orleans are enabled to report the triumph of the human spirit in spite of misconduct by police and other authorities, false arrest and illegal imprisonment, help that could not be found and help that increased rather than decreased suffering. On the one hand the book makes on sad at the abuses and injustices that were wrought. On the other, it celebrates the power of perseverance and faithfulness of average people swept up in a huge tragedy.

This book is part of a series of books called “Voice of Witness.” This is the second book of the series that I have read. It will not be the last.