The Buffalo Creek Disaster
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|Author||: Gerald M. Stern|
One Saturday morning in February 1972, an impoundment dam owned by the Pittston Coal Company burst, sending a 130 million gallon, 25 foot tidal wave of water, sludge, and debris crashing into southern West Virginia's Buffalo Creek hollow. It was one of the deadliest floods in U.S. history. 125 people were killed instantly, more than 1,000 were injured, and over 4,000 were suddenly homeless. Instead of accepting the small settlements offered by the coal company's insurance offices, a few hundred of the survivors banded together to sue. This is the story of their triumph over incredible odds and corporate irresponsibility, as told by Gerald M. Stern, who as a young lawyer and took on the case and won.
|Author||: Gerald M. Stern|
An in-depth account of the February 1972 disaster in which a dam built by the Pittston Coal Company gave way, killing 125 people, injuring more than 1,100, and leaving more than four thousand homeless, focuses on the survivors' lawsuit against the company, which became a landmark case of a legal triumph over corporate responsibility. Reprint. 17,500 first printing.
|Author||: Kai T. Erikson|
|Editor||: Simon and Schuster|
The 1977 Sorokin Award–winning story of Buffalo Creek in the aftermath of a devastating flood. On February 26, 1972, 132-million gallons of debris-filled muddy water burst through a makeshift mining-company dam and roared through Buffalo Creek, a narrow mountain hollow in West Virginia. Following the flood, survivors from a previously tightly knit community were crowded into trailer homes with no concern for former neighborhoods. The result was a collective trauma that lasted longer than the individual traumas caused by the original disaster. Making extensive use of the words of the people themselves, Erikson details the conflicting tensions of mountain life in general—the tensions between individualism and dependency, self-assertion and resignation, self-centeredness and group orientation—and examines the loss of connection, disorientation, declining morality, rise in crime, rise in out-migration, etc., that resulted from the sudden loss of neighborhood.
|Author||: Gerald M. Stern|
Behind-the-scenes account by the attorney from the Washington D.C. law firm that represented the Buffalo Creek Disaster survivors in a lawsuit. There were over 4,000 survivors of the flood that devastated over 16 small West Virginia communities and took 125 lives.
|Author||: Goldine C. Gleser,Bonnie L. Green,Carolyn Winget|
Prolonged Psychosocial Effects of Disaster: A Study of Buffalo Creek disseminates the findings of an investigation into the psychosocial effects of a specific disaster - the collapse of a slag dam that inundated the valley of Buffalo Creek in West Virginia on February 26, 1972. Based on interviews with more than 600 men, women, and children for whom psychic impairment was claimed, this volume examines the relationships between the individual disaster experiences of the survivors and their later psychological functioning. Comprised of nine chapters, this volume begins with an overview of the psychosocial consequences of disasters and an account of the Buffalo Creek disaster itself, along with the subsequent lawsuit against the coal company. The next chapter explains how the psychopathology and stress of the survivors were scaled and gives some information regarding the reliability and validity of the data. Symptoms, sleep problems, family disruption, and traumatic dreams are considered. The findings on these data and the follow-up studies are discussed. The final chapter contains a summary of the findings and proposes specific suggestions as well as a model for future disaster studies. This book will be of most practical importance to mental health scientists and clinicians working with the victims of stress and disaster, and should also be of considerable interest to social and behavioral scientists and, more generally, to administrators of government activities.
|Author||: Julia Keller|
|Editor||: Minotaur Books|
From the night-black depths of a coalmine to the sun-struck peaks of the Appalachian Mountains, from a riveting murder mystery to a poignant meditation on the meaning of love and family, the latest novel in the critically acclaimed series strikes out for new territory: the sorrow and outrage that spring from a real-life chapter in West Virginia history. Royce Dillard doesn't remember much about the day his parents-and one hundred and twenty-three other souls-died in the 1972 Buffalo Creek disaster. He was only two years old when he was ripped from his mother's arms. But now Dillard, who lives off the grid with only a passel of dogs for company, is fighting for his life one more time: He's on trial for murder. Prosecutor Bell Elkins faces her toughest challenge yet in this haunting story of vengeance, greed and the fierce struggle for social justice. Richly imagined, vividly written and deeply felt, Julia Keller's Last Ragged Breath is set in West Virginia, but it really takes place in a land we all know: the country called home.
|Author||: Lani Guinier|
|Editor||: Beacon Press|
"The challenge, then, is not to invent new victims or new scapegoats but to mobilize America for the future. What would it take to ensure that all of us can succeed at getting the job done, the problem solved, and the future more secure?" As a student at Yale Law School in 1974, Lani Guinier attended a class with a white male professor who addressed all the students, male and female, as "gentlemen." To him the greeting was a form of honorific, evoking the values of traditional legal education. To her it was profoundly alienating. Years later Guinier began a study of female law students with her colleagues, Michelle Fine and Jane Balin, to try to understand the frustrations of women law students in male-dominated schools. Women are now entering law schools in large numbers, but too often many still do not feel welcome. As one says, "I used to be very driven, competitive. Then I started to realize that all my effort was getting me nowhere. I just stopped caring. I am scarred forever." After interviewing hundreds of women with similar stories, the authors conclude that conventional one-size-fits-all approaches to legal education discourage many women who could otherwise succeed and, even more, fail to help all students realize their full potential as legal problem-solvers. In Becoming Gentlemen Guinier, Fine, and Balin dare us to question what it means to become qualified, what a fair goal in education might be, and what we can learn from the experience of women law students about teaching and evaluating students in general. Including the authors' original study and two essays and a personal afterword by Lani Guinier, the book challenges us to work toward a more just society, based on ideals of cooperation, the resources of diversity, and the values of teamwork.
|Author||: Kai T. Erikson|
|Editor||: W. W. Norton & Company|
In the twentieth century, disasters caused by human beings have become more and more common. Unlike earthquakes and other natural catastrophes, this 'new species of trouble' afflicts person and groups in particularly disruptive ways.
|Author||: Gregory Squires,Chester Hartman|
There is No Such Thing as a Natural Disaster is the first comprehensive critical book on the catastrophic impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans. The disaster will go down on record as one of the worst in American history, not least because of the government’s inept and cavalier response. But it is also a huge story for other reasons; the impact of the hurricane was uneven, and race and class were deeply implicated in the unevenness. Hartman and. Squires assemble two dozen critical scholars and activists who present a multifaceted portrait of the social implications of the disaster. The book covers the response to the disaster and the roles that race and class played, its impact on housing and redevelopment, the historical context of urban disasters in America and the future of economic development in the region. It offers strategic guidance for key actors - government agencies, financial institutions, neighbourhood organizations - in efforts to rebuild shattered communities.
|Author||: Ann Pancake|
A West Virginia family struggles amid the booms and busts of the coal industry in this novel from an author called “Appalachia’s Steinbeck” (Jayne Anne Phillips). Set in present day West Virginia, this debut novel tells the story of a coal mining family—a couple and their four children—living through the latest mining boom and dealing with the mountaintop removal and strip mining that is ruining what is left of their hometown. As the mine turns the mountains "to slag and wastewater, workers struggle with layoffs and children find adventure in the blasted moonscape craters. Strange as This Weather Has Been follows several members of the family, with a particular focus on fifteen–year–old Bant and her mother, Lace. Working at a motel, Bant becomes involved with a young miner while her mother contemplates joining the fight against the mining companies. As domestic conflicts escalate at home, the children are pushed more and more frequently outside among junk from the floods and felled trees in the hollows—the only nature they have ever known. But Bant has other memories and is as curious and strong–willed as her mother, and ultimately comes to discover the very real threat of destruction that looms as much in the landscape as it does at home. “Powerful, sure–footed and haunting.” —The New York Times Book Review
|Author||: Steven Stoll|
|Editor||: Hill and Wang|
How the United States underdeveloped Appalachia Appalachia—among the most storied and yet least understood regions in America—has long been associated with poverty and backwardness. But how did this image arise and what exactly does it mean? In Ramp Hollow, Steven Stoll launches an original investigation into the history of Appalachia and its place in U.S. history, with a special emphasis on how generations of its inhabitants lived, worked, survived, and depended on natural resources held in common. Ramp Hollow traces the rise of the Appalachian homestead and how its self-sufficiency resisted dependence on money and the industrial society arising elsewhere in the United States—until, beginning in the nineteenth century, extractive industries kicked off a “scramble for Appalachia” that left struggling homesteaders dispossessed of their land. As the men disappeared into coal mines and timber camps, and their families moved into shantytowns or deeper into the mountains, the commons of Appalachia were, in effect, enclosed, and the fate of the region was sealed. Ramp Hollow takes a provocative look at Appalachia, and the workings of dispossession around the world, by upending our notions about progress and development. Stoll ranges widely from literature to history to economics in order to expose a devastating process whose repercussions we still feel today.
|Author||: Greg Smith|
|Editor||: Grand Central Publishing|
On March 14, 2012, more than three million people read Greg Smith's bombshell Op-Ed in the New York Times titled "Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs." The column immediately went viral, became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter, and drew passionate responses from former Fed chairman Paul Volcker, legendary General Electric CEO Jack Welch, and New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg. Mostly, though, it hit a nerve among the general public who question the role of Wall Street in society -- and the callous "take-the-money-and-run" mentality that brought the world economy to its knees a few short years ago. Smith now picks up where his Op-Ed left off. His story begins in the summer of 2000, when an idealistic 21-year-old arrives as an intern at Goldman Sachs and learns about the firm's Business Principle #1: Our clients' interests always come first. This remains Smith's mantra as he rises from intern to analyst to sales trader, with clients controlling assets of more than a trillion dollars. From the shenanigans of his summer internship during the technology bubble to Las Vegas hot tubs and the excesses of the real estate boom; from the career lifeline he received from an NFL Hall of Famer during the bear market to the day Warren Buffett came to save Goldman Sachs from extinction-Smith will take the reader on his personal journey through the firm, and bring us inside the world's most powerful bank. Smith describes in page-turning detail how the most storied investment bank on Wall Street went from taking iconic companies like Ford, Sears, and Microsoft public to becoming a "vampire squid" that referred to its clients as "muppets" and paid the government a record half-billion dollars to settle SEC charges. He shows the evolution of Wall Street into an industry riddled with conflicts of interest and a profit-at-all-costs mentality: a perfectly rigged game at the expense of the economy and the society at large. After conversations with nine Goldman Sachs partners over a twelve-month period proved fruitless, Smith came to believe that the only way the system would ever change was for an insider to finally speak out publicly. He walked away from his career and took matters into his own hands. This is his story.
|Author||: Annette Marie La Greca|
|Editor||: Amer Psychological Assn|
This text offers psychotherapists and others involved in emergency response contemporary information on the immediate and lasting effects of trauma on children and adolescents. This volume demonstrates children and adolescents do have significant reactions that can interfere with their current and future psychological adjustment. Who is most at risk, and what can be done? This text reviews the research and intervention literature on a broad range of natural and man-made disasters, from floods and house-fires to acts of terrorism and war. Chapter authors document children's reactions, identifying factors that may predict or, alternatively, buffer against severe trauma responses. Descriptions of preparatory and post-disaster coping materials and interventions developed for use with children are included. In addition to setting the research agenda and paving the way for theory and model building in this evolving field, this volume has a strong practical emphasis, offering strategies for when and how to intervene, based on clinical observations and empirical evidence.
|Author||: Eric Klinenberg|
|Editor||: University of Chicago Press|
On Thursday, July 13, 1995, Chicagoans awoke to a blistering day in which the temperature would reach 106 degrees. The heat index, which measures how the temperature actually feels on the body, would hit 126 degrees by the time the day was over. Meteorologists had been warning residents about a two-day heat wave, but these temperatures did not end that soon. When the heat wave broke a week later, city streets had buckled; the records for electrical use were shattered; and power grids had failed, leaving residents without electricity for up to two days. And by July 20, over seven hundred people had perished-more than twice the number that died in the Chicago Fire of 1871, twenty times the number of those struck by Hurricane Andrew in 1992—in the great Chicago heat wave, one of the deadliest in American history. Heat waves in the United States kill more people during a typical year than all other natural disasters combined. Until now, no one could explain either the overwhelming number or the heartbreaking manner of the deaths resulting from the 1995 Chicago heat wave. Meteorologists and medical scientists have been unable to account for the scale of the trauma, and political officials have puzzled over the sources of the city's vulnerability. In Heat Wave, Eric Klinenberg takes us inside the anatomy of the metropolis to conduct what he calls a "social autopsy," examining the social, political, and institutional organs of the city that made this urban disaster so much worse than it ought to have been. Starting with the question of why so many people died at home alone, Klinenberg investigates why some neighborhoods experienced greater mortality than others, how the city government responded to the crisis, and how journalists, scientists, and public officials reported on and explained these events. Through a combination of years of fieldwork, extensive interviews, and archival research, Klinenberg uncovers how a number of surprising and unsettling forms of social breakdown—including the literal and social isolation of seniors, the institutional abandonment of poor neighborhoods, and the retrenchment of public assistance programs—contributed to the high fatality rates. The human catastrophe, he argues, cannot simply be blamed on the failures of any particular individuals or organizations. For when hundreds of people die behind locked doors and sealed windows, out of contact with friends, family, community groups, and public agencies, everyone is implicated in their demise. As Klinenberg demonstrates in this incisive and gripping account of the contemporary urban condition, the widening cracks in the social foundations of American cities that the 1995 Chicago heat wave made visible have by no means subsided as the temperatures returned to normal. The forces that affected Chicago so disastrously remain in play in America's cities, and we ignore them at our peril. For the Second Edition Klinenberg has added a new Preface showing how climate change has made extreme weather events in urban centers a major challenge for cities and nations across our planet, one that will require commitment to climate-proofing changes to infrastructure rather than just relief responses.
|Author||: John P. Wilson,Beverley Raphael|
|Editor||: Springer Science & Business Media|
Over 100 researchers from 16 countries contribute to the first comprehensive handbook on post-traumatic stress disorder. Eight major sections present information on assessment, measurement, and research protocols for trauma related to war veterans, victims of torture, children, and the aged. Clinicians and researchers will find it an indispensible reference, touching on such disciplines and psychiatry, psychology, social work, counseling, sociology, neurophysiology, and political science.
|Author||: Steve Kroll-Smith,Vern Baxter,Pam Jenkins|
|Editor||: University of Texas Press|
How do survivors recover from the worst urban flood in American history, a disaster that destroyed nearly the entire physical landscape of a city, as well as the mental and emotional maps that people use to navigate their everyday lives? This question has haunted the survivors of Hurricane Katrina and informed the response to the subsequent flooding of New Orleans across many years. Left to Chance takes us into two African American neighborhoods—working-class Hollygrove and middle-class Pontchartrain Park—to learn how their residents have experienced “Miss Katrina” and the long road back to normal life. The authors spent several years gathering firsthand accounts of the flooding, the rushed evacuations that turned into weeks- and months-long exile, and the often confusing and exhausting process of rebuilding damaged homes in a city whose local government had all but failed. As the residents’ stories make vividly clear, government and social science concepts such as “disaster management,” “restoring normality,” and “recovery” have little meaning for people whose worlds were washed away in the flood. For the neighbors in Hollygrove and Pontchartrain Park, life in the aftermath of Katrina has been a passage from all that was familiar and routine to an ominous world filled with raw existential uncertainty. Recovery and rebuilding become processes imbued with mysteries, accidental encounters, and hasty adaptations, while victories and defeats are left to chance.