What We Are Reading Today: The Geography of Risk by Gilbert M. Gaul

Updated 09 September 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: The Geography of Risk by Gilbert M. Gaul

Hurricanes and other coastal storms create more costly damage than do earthquakes, tornadoes and wildfires combined, and 17 of the 20 most destructive hurricanes in history have occurred since 2000. 

“The Geography of Risk will forever change the way you think about the coasts, from the clash between economic interests and nature, to the heated politics of regulators and developers,” said a review in goodreads.com. 

“This book is fairly comprehensive in its history of coastal development, with particular emphasis on the back bays of New Jersey but also discussing development all the way South to Florida and up along the Florida Gulf Coast all the way to Galveston Bay and Houston, with detailed discussions of Mobile and New Orleans along the way,” said the review. 

“And even discounting its heavy emphasis on global warming/global cooling/climate change ... whatever the alarmists are calling it these days, the book paints a stark picture about just how much coastal redevelopment costs people all over the country n the post-Second World War era,” said the review. 

 

 


What We Are Reading Today: Sorting Out the Mixed Economy by Amy C. Offner

Updated 19 September 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Sorting Out the Mixed Economy by Amy C. Offner

In the years after 1945, a flood of US advisors swept into Latin America with dreams of building a new economic order and lifting the Third World out of poverty. 

These businessmen, economists, community workers, and architects went south with the gospel of the New Deal on their lips, but Latin American realities soon revealed unexpected possibilities within the New Deal itself, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.

 In Colombia, Latin Americans and US advisors ended up decentralizing the state, privatizing public functions, and launching austere social welfare programs. By the 1960s, they had remade the country’s housing projects, river valleys, and universities. 

They had also generated new lessons for the US itself. When the Johnson administration launched the War on Poverty, US social movements, business associations, and government agencies all promised to repatriate the lessons of development, and they did so by multiplying the uses of austerity and for-profit contracting within their own welfare state.