In Conversation: On Words Whispered in Water

Words Whispered in Water: Why the Levees Broke in Hurricane Katrina documents activist Sandy Rosenthal‘s battle to find the culprits in the catastrophic flooding of New Orleans and to unravel […]


In Conversation: On Words Whispered in Water

Authors:Sandy Rosenthal, John Burnett


Words Whispered in Water: Why the Levees Broke in Hurricane Katrina documents activist Sandy Rosenthal‘s battle to find the culprits in the catastrophic flooding of New Orleans and to unravel the cover-up that looked to protect them. She’s joined by Austin, Texas-based NPR correspondent John Burnett, whose special reporting includes covering the attacks on 9/11, the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Sandy Rosenthal

After Hurricane Katrina and the levee breaches in New Orleans, Sandy Rosenthal became a citizen investigator and founder of the nonprofit Levees.org with 25,000 supporters nationally. Her book is about how she, and her group, exposed the culprit in the 2005 disaster – the Army Corps of Engineers – and how the federal agency spent millions covering up its levee-building mistakes and fooling the American public. She is a tireless and effective advocate for the 62% of the American population (190 million people) currently residing in counties protected by levees. When Rosenthal is not advocating for safe levees, she plays tennis and practices yoga.

 

 

John Burnett

John Burnett is a roving NPR correspondent based in Austin, Texas. His beat stretches across the U.S., and, sometimes, around the world. Normally, he focuses on the issues and people of the Southwest United States. His special reporting projects have included New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina, the U.S. invasion of Iraq and its aftermath, and many reports on the Drug War in the Americas. But also, in the months following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Burnett reported from New York City, Pakistan and Afghanistan. In 2004, Burnett won a national Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association for investigative reporting for his story on the accidental U.S. bombing of the Iraqi village of Al-Taniya, which claimed 31 lives. His reports are heard regularly on NPR’s newsmagazines Morning Edition, All Things  Considered and Weekend Edition.