Magazine November 21, 2016, Issue

Mastering Disaster

Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover, July 18, 1928 (National Archives/Herbert Hoover Presidential Library)
Shall We Wake the President? Two Centuries of Disaster Management from the Oval Office,  by Tevi Troy (Lyons, 264 pp., $26.95)

Every time I teach my class on emergency-management communications, I lament the absence of a text that applies historical research to the study of past catastrophes and disasters with an eye toward minimizing the effects of future ones. In this outstanding new study, Tevi Troy has solved my problem and those of many people tasked with managing the response to disasters. It should be required reading for the next president and his or her transition team.

Troy brings to his task the detachment of a presidential scholar and the hands-on experience of a practitioner. He held positions of responsibility under Presi­dent

Alvin S. Felzenberg — Mr. Felzenberg is the author of A Man and His Presidents: The Political Odyssey of William F. Buckley Jr. and The Leaders We Deserved: Rethinking the Presidential Rating Game.

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

A Strange Superman

The Accountant, the new Ben Affleck action vehicle, is founded on a genuinely original idea. Indeed, I feel safe in ven­turing that nobody, in cinema or literature, has invented an ...


Politics & Policy


Humble Experts The widespread connotation of “elitist” is one of arrogance and a haughtiness born not of achievement in the trenches but of patrician privilege. However, I feel certain this was ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ We predict the morally dubious figure with an awful record in public life and much-remarked-upon blond hair will lose the election — and, unhappily, win it.  ‐ To former Bill ...
Politics & Policy


FIRST WORDS And then I resolved that thenceforward I would choose for the theme of my writing only the praise of this most gracious being. But when I had thought exceedingly, ...


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