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Zeitoun (Paperback) by Dave Eggers, book reviewIn 2005 the world watched in horror as Hurricane Katrina attacked the city of New Orleans, bursting the levees and leaving the city neck-deep in water. The environmental devastation was beyond imagination but what shocked observers even more was the rapid breakdown of ‘normal’ human behaviour. The city descended into chaos and disorder; stores were looted, gangs roamed the streets and inhabitants – most of them poor and black – were herded into the Superbowl where rape, violence and despair were the order of the day. What the television reports didn’t tell us was about the violence and psychological abuse of innocent inhabitants, arrested without charge, denied even the basic rights of a phone call or the opportunity to let anyone know where they were – all in the name of ‘Homeland Security’.

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