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by Gary Rivlin
During Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, the levees of New Orleans broke, causing $135 billion in damages, killing over 1,800 people, and leaving 80 percent of the city flooded. Most devastated were the lowest-lying (poor, black) neighborhoods. ... Rivlin arrived early on to cover the tragedy and stayed with the story for 10 years, conducting hundreds of interviews, exploring every imaginable aspect of the “botched rescue” and recovery, and delving sympathetically into the lives of countless people, black and white, who stayed, left, or returned. ... Rivlin’s exquisitely detailed narrative captures the anger, fatigue, and ambiguity of life during the recovery, the centrality of race at every step along the way, and the generosity of many from elsewhere in the country.
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