Douglas Brinkley: Katrina Biographer Leaving New Orleans, Going to Rice

Historians in the News

The author of "The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast" is leaving the city where he chronicled storm survivors' tales. After 14 years in New Orleans, Douglas Brinkley has accepted a job at Rice University, where he will become a professor of history and fellow at the James A. Baker Institute for Public Policy in Houston.

Brinkley, who currently teaches at Tulane and has worked as a CBS News consultant, said he was enticed not only by the opportunity to work on public policy issues but the proximity to his current home.

"My family and I wanted to stay in the Gulf South region," said Brinkley, who assumes his new position July 1. "I'll continue spending a lot of time in New Orleans, where we have family, but Texas will be my primary home.”

Brinkley's book on the physical devastation and bureaucratic bungling of Hurricane Katrina recently won the 2007 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. While the author conducted the bulk of the book's research in New Orleans, he actually wrote much of "The Great Deluge" in Houston, where he was forced to flee during the storm.

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