David Eggers' latest work, Zeitoun
, relates the experiences of a well-respected Louisiana contractor and his wife before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina's landfall in 2005. It's an important book from the standpoint that it documents a small but significant piece of history in the words of someone who was actually present while events transpired. There are many who would like to deny, minimize or forget the disaster and the government's response to it, but Eggers relates events which need to be told and learned from so that the trials endured by Zeitoun (and others) don't recur.
The heart of the story, and the reason this book should be mandatory reading for all Americans, is Zeitoun's arrest and incarceration. It's simply something that one can't believe could happen in this country. Zeitoun is basically stripped of...
Beyond the Book
The term "hurricane" is believed to originate with the Carib people of the West Indies (after whom the Caribbean was named). Historians believe that the Carib word huracan
was probably derived from the Mayan storm god, Hunraken or the K'iche god of thunder and lightning, Hurakan. K'iche (in Spanish Quiché) is a part of the Mayan language family spoken by many people in the central highlands of Guatemala.
Hurricanes form when moisture from warm ocean water (at least 80o
C) combines with warm air at the ocean surface. The developing storm is then hit by a strong surface wind that spirals the air inward. Bands of thunderstorms form over this storm which allows the air to warm further and rise...