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Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago

Overview

"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 ...
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Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago

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Overview

"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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226443225
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2003
  • Pages: 305
  • Sales rank: 413,279
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Klinenberg is professor of sociology and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. The recipient of an Individual Projects Fellowship from the Open Society Institute in 2000, he is the coeditor of The Making and Unmaking of Whiteness and a regular contributor to Le Monde Diplomatique.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Prologue: The Urban Inferno 1
Introduction: The City of Extremes 14
Ch. 1 Dying Alone: The Social Production of Isolation 37
Ch. 2 Race, Place, and Vulnerability: Urban Neighborhoods and the Ecology of Support 79
Ch. 3 The State of Disaster: City Services in the Empowerment Era 129
Ch. 4 Governing by Public Relations 165
Ch. 5 The Spectacular City: News Organizations and the Representation of Catastrophe 185
Conclusion: Emerging Dangers in the Urban Environment 225
Epilogue: Together in the End 236
Notes 243
Bibliography 281
Index 297
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