Douglas Brinkley: Lambasted for his book on Katrina

Historians in the News

... Katrina was not the Big One. To their credit, almost all the post-Katrina authors seem to recognize this, even if they do not dwell on it. Jed Horne, an editor at the New Orleans Times-Picayune, came up with the perfect title for his lucid and wrenching chronicle of the storm: Breach of Faith. Ivor van Heerden makes the same point in oversized type on the back cover of his memoir The Storm: "Properly designed and constructed levees would have protected the city. Instead, they collapsed." Even the graphomaniacal historian-to-the-stars Douglas Brinkley, who is passing off a 700-page Nexis search as a book called The Great Deluge, notes that "the shoddy Army Corps engineering crippled the Greater New Orleans flood-control system." He does not say much more about the Corps, although he does say very nice things about Oprah Winfrey, Brian Williams, Bill O'Reilly, and other people who have the power to affect the fortunes of his book. Brinkley brags that he taught three college courses during the six months he took to churn out his tome. No wonder he didn't have time to think. ...

Read entire article at Michael Grunwald in the New Republic

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