Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Plus ca change Books: RISING TIDE: THE GREAT MISSISSIPPI FLOOD OF 1927 AND HOW IT CHANGED AMERICA: "In the spring of 1927, America witnessed perhaps its greatest natural disaster: a flood that profoundly changed race relations, government, and society in the Mississippi River valley region. Barry (The Transformed Cell, LJ 9/1/92) presents here a fascinating social history of the effects of the massive flood. More than 30 feet of water stood over land inhabited by nearly one million people. Almost 300,000 African Americans were forced to live in refugee camps for months. Many people, both black and white, left the land and never returned. Using an impressive array of primary and secondary sources, Barry clearly traces and analyzes how the changes produced by the flood in the lower South came into conflict and ultimately destroyed the old planter aristocracy, accelerated black migration to the North, and foreshadowed federal government intervention in the region's social and economic life during the New Deal." (thanks, C. JoDi)


Ginny said...

It'll remain to be seen what changes may come from this disaster, but it sure doesn't make us look like the leader of the free world if one of our major cities devolves into mob rule and looter's gangs in the space of a couple of days.

I've seen quotes today comparing the devastation of NO to Hiroshima or Baghdad. I'm not sure whether that's stunningly inappropriate or just plain disturbing.

mercuryfern said...

I wanted to write you to say that NOLA is on my mind, but so are you. Turns out I don’t have your email address. So, I’ll try to say want I want to say here. It sounds like you have been very disturbed over this disaster and the aftermath, which is, of course, worth being upset over. I’m thinking of you, hoping your anguish can subside as soon as possible. Maybe that's selfish of me with all the awful things happening, but you're my friend, and I want you to be okay.

...e... said...

Ginny, I fear it is appropriate. it looks like it might be that kind of numbers. Some on the ground are talking Asian Tsunami-like numbers. I read somewhere that someone objected to that as typical American indifference to Asian lives,but I believe they were overinterpreting: the comparison was literal. As for the chaos just slightly below the surface, that's exactly what it is, red in tooth and claw, and I wondering if that might somehow factor into the national media's stupendous failure in covering this story?

Merc, thanks, I'm fine. I have been losing my mind trying to get people to begin to look at and talk about all of this, but it's beginning to happen now (no thanks to me)--48 hours later? Sheesh. Only I don't know what I mean by "later" as it's not over yet, by a longshot.

You can get my email from the member list on scrine, I think. Anyway, I'll look for yours and send it to you. Thanks:)