Disasterology: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the Climate Crisis

Samantha Montano. Park Row, $28.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7783-1103-4
Montano, assistant professor of emergency management at Massachusetts Maritime Academy, debuts with a trenchant if uneven look at communities that are fighting for survival in the face of climate change. Montano’s passion stems from a formative trip she took as a teenager in 2005 to help New Orleanians rebuild their homes after Hurricane Katrina—she returned there for college and was aghast that, years after the storm, the recovery effort was incomplete and relied on “voluntourism” groups to rebuild the city. Montano argues that America’s national emergency system is based on a model of “limited intervention,” and amounts to “cobbled-together, underfunded system [that] isn’t working.” As a fix, she calls for “disaster justice” and encourages readers to get involved in politics and push for emergency management to be seen as a priority for politicians. Her indignation is paired with comprehensive research, but the narrative often gets bogged down in repetitively cataloging the author’s experiences in, among other places, Louisiana, coastal Maine, and Texas—so much so that the disaster victims themselves feel conspicuously absent. Despite these missing voices, this is a great primer on the deficiencies of the country’s crisis response apparatus. Agent: Tess Callero, Europa Content. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 04/22/2021
Release date: 08/03/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
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