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The Continuing Storm

The Continuing Storm
Learning from Katrina

This final volume in the award-winning Katrina Bookshelf series reflects upon the lessons of Hurricane Katrina and what they reveal about our society and current cultural climate.

Series: The Katrina Bookshelf

June 2022
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160 pages | 6 x 9 | 11 b&w photos, 2 maps |

More than fifteen years later, Hurricane Katrina maintains a strong grip on the American imagination. The reason is not simply that Katrina was an event of enormous scale, although it certainly was by any measure one of the most damaging storms in American history. But, quite apart from its lethality and destructiveness, Katrina retains a place in living memory because it is one of the most telling disasters in our recent national experience, revealing important truths about our society and ourselves.

The final volume in the award-winning Katrina Bookshelf series Higher Ground reflects upon what we have learned about Katrina and about America. Kai Erikson and Lori Peek expand our view of the disaster by assessing its ongoing impact on individual lives and across the wide-ranging geographies where displaced New Orleanians landed after the storm. Such an expanded view, the authors argue, is critical for understanding the human costs of catastrophe across time and space. Concluding with a broader examination of disasters in the years since Katrina—including COVID-19—The Continuing Storm is a sobering meditation on the duration of a catastrophe that continues to exact steep costs in human suffering.


Kai Erikson is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor Emeritus of Sociology and American Studies at Yale University. He is the author of Wayward Puritans, Everything in Its Path, A New Species of Trouble, and The Sociologist’s Eye.

Lori Peek is professor of sociology and director of the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado Boulder. She is the author of Behind the Backlash, coauthor of Children of Katrina, and coeditor of Displaced and the Handbook of Environmental Sociology.