Heckuva Book, Brownie


Given his less-than-stellar track record when it comes to dealing with disasters, I’m looking forward to reading Bush-era FEMA chief Michael Brown’s upcoming book on Hurricane Katrina.

His publicist sent me a pitch this morning, suggesting that Brown is “someone whom you may know from the 2005 Hurricane that devastated NOLA and the areas close by.” I am indeed familiar with him, along with everyone else who watched the administration’s handling of Katrina with horror. Brown’s book, arriving later this month, is titled Deadly Indifference: The Perfect (Political) Storm: Hurricane Katrina, The Bush White House, and Beyond, and “is about the inner workings of FEMA and his experiences inside during his terms.”

“Heckuva Job Brownie” can’t seem to get a mention anymore without the word “disgraced” attached to his name, but he’s spent the past year trying to rehab his image. While he became the poster boy for the Bush administration’s Katrina ineptitude, it was always clear that there were larger issues at play. The real questions is: will the book hold any real insights, or is it just Brown’s attempt to rewrite history?

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  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.