Film and Media, History, Reviews

Review: Rozario, The Culture of Calamity

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Kevin Rozario’s new book, The Culture of Calamity: Disaster and the Making of Modern America, recently received some positive press from the Chicago Tribune’s cultural critic, Julia Keller. Keller writes:

With a Minnesota bridge lying in jagged-edged tatters and the residue of Katrina still haunting New Orleans, the United States never seems to run short of catastrophes. But the way we look at devastation—nature-made, in Katrina’s case, or man-made, with the 9/11 terrorist attacks—is a crucial index of the way we think about God and progress, argues Kevin Rozario in his new book, The Culture of Calamity: Disaster & The Making of Modern America. Rozario, an American Studies professor at Smith College, traces the history of our nation’s response to large and terrible events, from Puritan days to the current CNN-saturated world of wall-to-wall disaster coverage. Broad in its historical sweep, sharp and pointed in its insights, this is academic writing at its spirited and relevant best.

Rozario’s book was also given an enthusiastic review in this month’s Library Journal praising Rozario’s “interesting and complex” examination of American resilience in the face of disaster. (Scroll down the page about half way.)
Read an excerpt from the book.