Friday, July 9, 2010

Quick Review--Zeitoun, by Dave Eggers

While I am working on finishing the biography on Woodrow Wilson, I thought I would write a quick review of a book I have recently read.

, by author Dave Eggers, is the story of Abdulrahman Zeitoun and his family during Hurricane Katrina. Zeitoun is the owner of a successful construction company in New Orleans who stays behind to keep watch of his house and other properties while his family flees the city before Hurricane Katrina hits. His wife and kids initially go north, but eventually head to Arizona with a family friend. The real drama begins after the hurricane hits the town, as Zeitoun uses a canoe he had bought years earlier to help stranded locals to safety. However, one day he is arrested in a most peculiar way, and endures a month-long detention that most of us would think could not occur in America.

I loved this book for several reasons. First, it is an incredible story. Zeitoun's trials during Katrina were more the average person could bear. Second, Eggers does a great job of making his point without blatantly saying how he feels. The proof is in the pudding, Zeitoun's story is all that needs to be said about the government response to Hurricane Katrina. And lastly, all author proceeds from the book go to the Zeitoun Foundation, whose purpose "is to aid in the rebuilding of New Orleans and to promote respect for human rights in the United States and around the world."

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