Heckuva Book, Brownie

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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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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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