• Words Whispered in Water

  • Why the Levees Broke in Hurricane Katrina
  • By: Sandy Rosenthal
  • Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
  • Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Words Whispered in Water

By: Sandy Rosenthal
Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
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Publisher's summary

In 2005, the world watched in horror as a major American city - New Orleans - was nearly wiped off the map by an epic flood. Newscasters attributed the flooding to a “natural disaster”.

But one New Orleanian had her doubts.

Words Whispered in Water is the story of how - against all odds - one woman exposed the culprit in the catastrophic flooding and compelled the news media, and the government, to tell the truth. 

Words Whispered in Water highlights the importance of exposing the bad behavior of giant corporations and bureaucracies whose unsavory activities affect millions of people, because once bad behavior is exposed, there is noticeably less fraud and better behavior on the part of an organization. 

Rosenthal’s story is crucial listening for potential citizen activists looking to make a difference. Additionally, Words Whispered in Water provides lessons for politicians and bureaucrats from City Hall, to Congress, to the almost faceless Army Corps.

Finally, Words Whispered in Water offers a valuable warning as to what is likely to happen in this time of eroding coastlines, coupled with America’s history of trying to control - instead of coexist - with water.

©2020 Sandy Rosenthal (P)2020 Blackstone Publishing

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Accurate and Chilling

First - i am a New Orleanian who lost a home in the federal flood of 2005 - known to many as 'Katrina'.

As someone who went through the disaster, I think this book captures the displacement very well. So many of us lived for months in Texas, Georgia, Florida and many places in-between. Our family had five addresses in 2005/06.

The real heart of this book deals with the Corps of Engineers -- and the punch line is that this was not a natural disaster. The Corps built inferior levees and then tried to off-load the blame on the New Orleans Levee Board. In truth, this was a man-made disaster.

I wonder how the reader from the middle of the country reacts to learning how poorly our government acted? I imagine they are skeptical. Well, this book documents the fault of the Corps. And here's my little story that also may make other Americans take notice.

My one-story house - which was flooded and had to be torn down - was built on 30' pilings. The outfall levees - located only a few blocks from my house - had 16' pilings. There is no way my little house should be constructed stronger than a levee protecting thousands of people.

This is a well-written book -- and it tells a story that is chilling in its honesty.

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I really wanted to love it

I hate to say it, but the book was so anti-climactic I couldn’t wait for it to end. My first gripe is that the narrator sounds like Siri on my phone. My second gripe is that the author uses too many acronyms and abbreviations (I.e. Dr. B), You get lost in alphabet soup. My third, and most important gripe, Is that the author is so tone deaf to the suffering that the average new Orleanian experienced, it makes me not want to listen to her story. While she never throws a pity party, it nullifies the point of the book. Living

I highly recommend “One Dead In Attic” by Chris Rose over this one, or “Katrina: after the flood” by Gary Rivlin over this.

I am a city planner and a flood plain manager. I am by no means disparaging research and conclusions We overcame two; but snooze worthy is my best description of the book.

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What really happened!

Everyone who thinks they know the story behind what happened in the 2005 New Orleans flood (Hurricane Katrina) must read this book, especially if you are an engineer! This book reveals the truth behind common misconceptions and exposes the failures and apparent coverups facilitated by the US Army Corps of Engineers, after the catastrophic flood in 2005. Levees.org is a group focused on revealing the truth at all costs and this book is a testament to the fighting spirit of Sandy Rosenthal, H.J. Bosworth, Jr. and the whole Levees.org team!
Also I couldn't put the book down and finished it all in one day!

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Finally an accurate account of the 2005 flood

This account is so well written and the research and tenacity of Sandy Rosenthall is amazing. She spearheaded a a grassroots organization to take on the disparaging information the Army Corp used to cover their own errors. Errors that were responsible for well over the loss of 1000 lives. The trauma this flood caused and the disruption of lives cannot be measured. Even 15 years later, the city is still in recovery, so many have not returned and the face and texture of the city had been forever altered. The people of New Orleans deserved better from the Army Corp and the US government.
Thank you Sandy.

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