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Recovering Inequality


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Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Foreword by Anthony Oliver-Smith
  • From Whence Recovery? A Prelude
  • I. An Introduction
    • 1. "The Earth Dragon" and "Miss Katrina"
    • 2. Geographies of Inequality: A Sketch of Two Cities Spanning a Century
  • II. Deranging and Rekindling
    • 3. The Great Derangements
    • 4. Fashioning "the Looter": Rekindling Racial and Class Kinds
  • III. Rebooting Inequality, the Road to Recovery
    • 5. Disaster Relief: Parsing the Vernaculars of Worthiness
    • 6. Spatial Accumulation by Dispossession: Two Attempts to Rob the Marginal
    • 7. One City Necessary, One City Expendable
  • By Way of Closing
  • Notes
  • Index

About the Author

Steve Kroll-Smith is currently a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and was formerly a research professor of sociology at the University of New Orleans. He is the coauthor of Left to Chance: Hurricane Katrina and the Story of Two New Orleans Neighborhoods.


"This book exposes the inherent inequalities in American society, especially visible in times of crisis, and offers a sobering account at how social hierarchies are upheld even when given the ideal opportunity for redress. It is a valuable addition to disaster scholarship." * Social Cultural Geography *
"[A] provocative book that will prompt its readers to think seriously about how market forces can influence the aftermath of a natural disaster and the inequality of treatment of the poor, elderly and sick." * Roundup Magazine *
"[A]n academic read that shines a light on the idea of 'recovery' to examine how many of the factors guiding a city's trajectory after disaster perpetuate inequality." * Kinder Institute at Rice University *
"Echoing W.E.B. DuBois' ingenious interdisciplinary combinations of poetry, history, quotes, and statistics, Kroll-Smith combines fictional renderings, newspaper clippings, policy decisions, and first-hand descriptions with rhythmic prose to create a page-turning analysis of the similarities and differences between two iconic U.S. disasters...Retelling the story of these two disasters side by side, Kroll-Smith is able to illuminate that our failures to respond swiftly and justly after tragedies is not just an isolated occurrence but the pattern." * Social Forces *
"Revelatory...Written with engaging and often eloquent turns of phrase, [Recovering Inequality] is the work of a sociological mind atop its craft and respectful of readers' time and intellect." * Contemporary Sociology *
"An accessible and illuminating work...Kroll-Smith has produced a rare specimen: an academic book that is illuminating, theoretically rich, and a pleasure to read. His prose is deft and light, his eye for detail is vivid, and the book is illustrated throughout with photographs from both the archival record and the author's own collection." * Sociological Inquiry *

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