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The Fight for Home

How (Parts of) New Orleans Came Back

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Description

When Daniel Wolff first headed down to New Orleans five months after the levees breached, he thought he might spend a year reporting on the recovery ahead. He found people desperate to tell their stories; they had lost the documents of their personal history - the photos and diaries - in the flood. They wanted to recover and preserve their stories through telling, and as their recovery dragged on and they struggled to make their government keep its promises, they became desperate about the recorders and cameras turning away. A year of reporting became five.
Wolff follows the inevitable difficulties of rebuilding a city almost from scratch. A quarter of the population chose not to return; those who did had to rebuild not just houses but community. The city of their memory, their model, had one of the worst crime rates and worst school systems in the country; yet an organized plan for a brighter future might eliminate the very neighborhoods they had returned to fight for. The government was incompetent; the contractors were corrupt. In this environment, trust becomes a radical act and hope is its own small miracle.
The Fight for Home introduces an amazing cast of characters: ex-addicts and church women, ex-Black Panthers and Sons of the Confederacy; urban planners and anarchists. As their journeys unfold, Fight for Home becomes a story of surviving not just a flood, but the emergency of the everyday - of surviving in America.

From Publishers Weekly

Apr 16, 2012 – The destruction left by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 is only the starting point for the social drama that unfolds in Wolff s (How Lincoln Learned to Read) grassroots-oriented investigation of the rebuilding of New Orleans most underprivileged and underrepresented neighborhoods. The controversy surrounding the initial federal government response during the disaster is supported by indications of continuing business-government corruption and economic exploitation during the reconstruction phase, though Wolff also details the remarkable contribution made by neighbors, pastors, former Black Panthers, and other volunteers and citizen organizations. Between these two sides is a battle line dividing competing maps and futures for the city and its inhabitants. Wolff s impressive research utilizes dozens of interviews with community members and organizers collected over five years beginning in early 2006 including with members of Common Ground, a direct-democracy organization made up mostly of young volunteers from out of state, some of whom are veteran activists from the antiglobalization movement. Wolff s reportage concentrates on the empowering, if also difficult, coordination across regional, racial, and class lines to provide basic aid and services to the largely African-American communities of the city s devastated Ninth Ward, as well as a serious bid among such individuals and organizations to realize a future in which diversity and solidarity are the strength of a city and a society.
The Fight for Home
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Social Science
  • Published: Aug 07, 2012
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Seller: INscribe Digital
  • Print Length: 352 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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