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Download e-book for kindle: Acts of God The Unnatural History of Natural Disaster in by Ted Steinberg

By Ted Steinberg

Because the waters of the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain started to pour into New Orleans, humans started asking the large question--could any of this were kept away from? How a lot of the wear from storm Katrina was once undesirable success, and what kind of used to be negative urban planning?

Steinberg's Acts of God is a provocative background of normal failures within the usa. This revised version incorporates a new bankruptcy examining the failed reaction to typhoon Katrina, a catastrophe Steinberg warned may take place whilst the ebook first was once released. concentrating on America's worst typical failures, Steinberg argues that it's fallacious to work out those tragedies as random outbursts of nature's violence or expressions of divine judgment. He unearths how the choices of industrial leaders and govt officers have prepared the ground for the higher losses of existence and estate, specifically between these least in a position to face up to such blows--America's negative, aged, and minorities. Seeing nature or God because the fundamental wrongdoer, Steinberg explains, has helped to conceal the truth that a few americans are easily larger capable of shield themselves from the violence of nature than others.

In the face of revelations approximately how the government mishandled the Katrina calamity, this publication is a must-read earlier than extra wind and water sweep away extra lives. Acts of God is a decision to motion that wishes desperately to be heard.

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Additional info for Acts of God The Unnatural History of Natural Disaster in America

Sample text

75 In short, it stated something that had been slowly becoming obvious: Large magnitude earthquakes are possible elsewhere in the East. The Charleston calamity, starved of its meaning for future generations, is little more than a footnote in the annals of disaster, a very poor cousin, as we shall see, to the famed San Francisco earthquake 20 years later. Cordoned off as a unique—shall we say freak—event, the Charleston experience has been ignored by developers and planners as they have forged ahead in the building of such projects as Manhattan’s Battery Park City, which is constructed on a quake-prone landfill.

22 The Southern Pacific was hardly alone in seeing fire as the main cause of the calamity. It had support from the business class throughout California, from the governor on down. Eager to show that the disaster had not been allowed to get in the way of business, Governor George Pardee observed that he had declared only 41 legal holidays. ”24 And one could certainly count on the California Promotion Committee to fan the flames. ”25 The city’s newspapers, which were effectively an instrument of the social order, also fell into line in an attempt to downplay and normalize Disaster as Archetype This comic book sullied the city’s image by playing up the quake and its damaging effect on order.

In part, such transgressive behavior flowed from the blacks’ interpretation of the earthquake calamity as an act of God. As Gabriel Manigault, the son of a wealthy rice planter and himself a museum curator, explained, the city’s black citizens were more unnerved by the quake than were white people such as himself, who understood it as resulting from natural forces. He wrote: There was a marked difference in the degree of alarm which was exhibited by the whites and blacks during the first night.

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Acts of God The Unnatural History of Natural Disaster in America by Ted Steinberg


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