"Billy Sothern's Down in New Orleans illustrates, in very human and heartbreaking ways, how the horrors that emerged during and following Hurricane Katrina existed long before the storm. These beautifully composed stories not only reveal the dignity—and amazing grit and grace—of the hurricane's survivors; they also illuminate larger truths about the urgent issues of our day. Sothern magnifies the urgency of creating a government that really serves the common good - and a society that protects its poor and vulnerable."
--Katrina vanden Heuvel, Editor and Publisher, The Nation
"He eloquently and angrily shows how devastatingly easy it can be for those in power to cast aside the rule of law our society relies on. In outrage he recalls how the prisoners in New Orleans' jail—most of whom had yet to be tried, let alone convicted—had to break open their cell doors to swim to safety. He follows the story of residents suddenly arrested as suspected terrorists and held for weeks with no family contact. Sothern's own story of escape and return adds a personal facet to a Katrina book that looks not to the destruction wrought by the storm, but to that caused by the suspension of rights by those in charge of a great American city now truly in ruins." (Booklist)
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One side of a complicated story
- Martha A. Murray