Embedded in the Storm

By Neal Comment

Hillel Italie of the Associated Press reports on the latest major deal for a Katrina book (after last week’s Douglas Brinkley signing), this one from New Orleans Times-Picayune city editor Jed Horne. Random House describes the book as “an insider’s narrative account of the Hurricane Katrina disaster that will locate its roots in the culture and politics of the city of New Orleans and in the national politics of oil, homeland security, poverty and race relations.” The acquiring editor, Tim Bartlett, adds:

“This event touches upon so many important issues that it deserves thoughtful treatment from someone, like Horne, who experienced it first hand and can vividly capture each moment, but also has the ability and access to provide the critical long view.”

It sounds like an excellent get for Bartlett–and in his first month at Random House, no less, demonstrating exactly why they wanted to hire him away from Oxford University Press (where he was a senior editor specializing in politics and current events). I for one am hoping he gets Horne to provide lots of detail on the heroic efforts of Times-Picayune staffers to keep the paper running as an online blog of breaking stories.