In the first major book deal related to Hurricane Katrina, historian and best-selling author Douglas Brinkley is planning “an analysis and narrative of the ongoing crisis in New Orleans in historical context,” according to his publisher William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins.
The book, tentatively titled “The Great Deluge,” is scheduled to be published by Morrow early next year.
Financial terms were not disclosed Monday and there was no immediate word on whether any proceeds would be donated to charity.
“Hurricane Katrina is without question the worst natural disaster in American history,” Brinkley, a professor at the New Orleans-based Tulane University who was in town when the storm hit,” said in a statement. “With the death toll rising and toxic sludge draining into Lake Pontchartrain, it’s imperative that we learn what went wrong.”
Brinkley has created a “Tulane University Task Force” and for his new book will interview federal, state and local officials. His previous books include “Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War” and “The Boys of Pointe du Hoc: Ronald Reagan, D-Day, and the U.S. Army 2nd Ranger Battalion.”
With the hurricane’s aftermath still unfolding, publishers say few book proposals have surfaced so far. Jonathan Karp, publisher of the Warner Twelve imprint at Warner Books, expects that to change.
“The idea of rebuilding an entire city is certainly worth the kind of coverage a book can provide,” Karp said Monday. “You also have the stories of heroism. And I could imagine an illustrated book of the city. There are a lot of possibilities.”