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American Dunkirk: The Waterborne Evacuation of Manhattan on 9/11

American Dunkirk: The Waterborne Evacuation of Manhattan on 9/11

by James M Kendra, Tricia Wachtendorf

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When the terrorist attacks struck New York City on September 11, 2001, boat operators and waterfront workers quickly realized that they had the skills, the equipment, and the opportunity to take definite, immediate action in responding to the most significant destructive event in the United States in decades. For many of them, they were “doing what needed to be done.”

American Dunkirk shows how people, many of whom were volunteers, mobilized rescue efforts in various improvised and spontaneous ways on that fateful date. Disaster experts James Kendra and Tricia Wachtendorf examine the efforts through fieldwork and interviews with many of the participants to understand the evacuation and its larger implications for the entire practice of disaster management.

The authors ultimately explore how people—as individuals, groups, and formal organizations—pull together to respond to and recover from startling, destructive events. American Dunkirk asks, What can these people and lessons teach us about not only surviving but thriving in the face of calamity?

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439908211
Publisher: Temple University Press
Publication date: 06/24/2016
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 156
Sales rank: 1,042,209
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

James Kendra is Director of the Disaster Research Center and Professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Delaware.
Tricia Wachtendorf is Associate Director of the Disaster Research Center and Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware.

Table of Contents


1 Making Sense of Disaster

2 We Did What We Had to Do: Identity, Ethos, and Community in Action

3 Making Sense and Taking Action

4 Breaking Rules, Making Rules: The Paradox of Disaster

5 Blending Art and Science, or Mindful Muddling: Toward a New Concept of Disaster Management


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