The Great Deluge

  • by Douglas Brinkley
  • Narrated by Kyf Brewer
  • 5 hrs and 59 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In the span of five violent hours on August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed major Gulf Coast cities and flattened 150 miles of coastline. Yet those wind-torn hours represented only the first stage of the relentless triple tragedy that Katrina brought to the entire Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Mississippi to Alabama.First was the hurricane, one of the three strongest ever to make landfall in the United States, 150 mile per hour winds, with gusts measuring more than 180 miles per hour ripping buildings to pieces. Second, the storm-surge flooding, which submerged a half million homes, creating the largest refugee crisis since the Civil War. Eighty percent of New Orleans was under water, and whole towns in southeastern Louisiana ceased to exist. And third, the human tragedy of government mismanagement, which proved as cruel as the natural disaster itself.
In The Great Deluge, best-selling author Douglas Brinkley, a New Orleans resident and professor of history at Tulane University, rips the story of Katrina apart and relates what the Category 3 hurricane was like from every point of view, while recognizing the true heroes.
Throughout the audiobook, Brinkley lets the Katrina survivors tell their own stories, masterfully allowing them to record the nightmare that was Katrina. The Great Deluge investigates the failure of government at each level and breaks important new stories. Packed with interviews and original research, it traces the character flaws, inexperience, and ulterior motives that allowed the Katrina disaster to turn the Gulf Coast into a scene from a war movie or a third-world documentary.


What the Critics Say

Audie Award Finalist, Non-Fiction, Abridged, 2007


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Unabridged version

I live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and I experienced the catastrophic aftermath of Katrina personally. My best friend lived in the lakefront area of New Orleans. She had 10 feet of water in her house for three weeks. Her home and all of her family belongings were completely destroyed. Her home is now only a shell.

Much of New Orleans still remains totally devastated. Many areas of the Mississippi gulf coast still looks like Berlin after World War II.

This book reveals how the federal, state, and local governments completely failed the citizens of Louisiana and Mississippi after Katrina. Unfortunately, the incompentence still exists at all levels of government. One year later, the situation is no better than Douglas Brinkley describes in the days after Katrina. For those of you who are skeptical, just remember, it could also happen to you.

I have reviewed the unabridged version of the book and discovered that the abridged audio version leaves out a lot of facts that enlighten the reader about what really happened. I hope an unabridged audio version of the book will be released soon.
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- Leonora

Way too short for a great deluge.

What would have made The Great Deluge better?

This abridgement is far too short. The Recorded Books unabridged version is 24 CDs long, while this version is only 6 hours or so. I like Kyf Brewer's voice and delivery, and Douglas Brinkley's book is amazing, but the editors sliced and diced far too much for the full impact to be felt with this version. I stopped listening to this one after about 1 hour and ordered the unabridged version used online.

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- Katherine

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-08-2006
  • Publisher: HarperAudio