Cover, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-v

Contents

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p. vii

List of Illustrations

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p. ix

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Preface

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pp. xi-xiv

When Dr. Sarah Gardner invited me to deliver the Lamar Memorial Lectures at Mercer University in October 2009, I was deeply flattered. The lectures are-quite rightly-recognized as the most important lecture series on southern history and literature in the United States. I follow in the footsteps of some exceptional scholars, including...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-xvi

First and foremost, I wish to offer a hearty thank you to Mercer University's Lamar Memorial Lectures Committee for the extraordinarily kind and deeply flattering invitation to deliver the 2009 Lamar lectures. Committee members and Mercer faculty members made my visit...

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CHAPTER ONE: The Sensory History of a Natural Disaster

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pp. 1-20

Official metrics of Category Five hurricanes-maximum sustained winds of at least 155 miles an hour, barometric pressure below 920 millibars, and a storm surge of eighteen or more feet-don't quite capture the raw power of the phenomenon. The sheer intensity is hard to convey. Big hurricanes, such as Camille, provide enough energy in a few hours' time...

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CHAPTER TWO: Desegregating Camille: Civil Rights, Disaster Rights

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pp. 21-35

I begin this chapter by contradicting the first. I begin, also, with a quotation. The quotation is from the Congressional Globe, March 29, 1867. We join Charles Sumner of Massachusetts on the floor of the U.S. Senate as he offers an amendment to a bill providing federal relief for broken levees in Mississippi. Keep in mind...

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CHAPTER THREE: The Political Economy of Disaster Recovery

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pp. 36-54

By any measure, the economic cost of Hurricane Camille was staggering. Over six thousand destitute families were counted in September alone; the hotels, businesses, and homes that once populated the eighty-mile length of the Gulf Coast where Camille slammed ashore "lay flattened." Two towns in particular, Pass Christian and Long Beach, had been...

Notes

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pp. 55-67

Index

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pp. 69-71