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  Ray Nagin describes post-Hurricane Katrina paranoia in his new book
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ContributorBrandonius Maximus 
Last EditedBrandonius Maximus  Jun 23, 2011 02:06pm
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AuthorMichelle Krupa, The Times-Picayune NOLA.com
MediaNewspaper - New Orleans Times-Picayune
News DateThursday, June 23, 2011 08:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionSince Hurricane Katrina’s winds died down, Ray Nagin has cast his role as mayor of New Orleans as a me-against-the-world struggle to save his hometown against inept government officials and racist forces, sometimes even laying out vague conspiracy theories to bolster his worldview.

But that perspective has never been laid out as starkly as in Nagin’s self-published memoir, “Katrina’s Secrets: Storms After the Storm,” released Wednesday.

From then-President George W. Bush to former Gov. Kathleen Blanco to members of Louisiana’s congressional delegation, top officials of suburban parishes and the powers-that-be at FEMA and the Coast Guard, Nagin paints himself as a Lone Ranger attempting to rip through maddening bureaucracies and navigate savagely partisan politics to save his drowned city.

The former mayor, who left office last year, also admits in the 330-page paperback that the infamously botched nature of the disaster response led him briefly into a state of paranoia. Nagin writes that he suspected the federal government of trying to poison him, and he believed at one point that the city’s wealthiest, most powerful residents were trying to bug his hotel suite.

But in recounting the hot, harrowing days after the storm, Nagin also portrays himself sympathetically, as a decisive, honest executive who faced daunting tasks, from evacuating starving residents to pumping floodwaters back into Lake Pontchartrain to establishing rules for rebuilding.
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