Date and Time
Sep 19, 2019 6:30 pm
14th & V
When Hurricane Maria roared across Puerto Rico in September 2017, it devastated the island. It was an unprecedented natural disaster, a category 5 major hurricane, and ultimately responsible for the deaths of more than 3,000 people. It also ripped away the facade that had dominated discussions of the island's relationship with the United States for over a century. Using a blend of history and on-the-ground reportage, Michael Delbert pulls back the veil of the island known for its powdery beaches, rainforests, and apricot-and-lavender sunsets to reveal the trajectory for the decisions that set it on the path to the disaster that came during and in the wake of the storm. In doing so, he also reveals the stories of everyday heroism, compassion, and unexpected joy that have defined the island before and after Maria in what Publisher's Weekly called an "impassioned analysis...[that] will shock readers not familiar with the details."
A widely recognized authority on the Caribbean, Michael Deibert is an author and journalist whose articles have been published in The Guardian, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Miami Herald, Le Monde Diplomatique, Folha de S.Paulo, and World Policy Journal, among other outlets. He has been a regularly featured commentator on international affairs for the BBC, NPR, France 24, and KPFK Pacifica Radio. He was awarded a grant from the International Peace Research Association and was a finalist for the Kurt Schork Award in International Journalism, sponsored by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, both in recognition of his work in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Deibert is the author of Notes from the Last Testament: The Struggle for Haiti; The Democratic Republic of Congo: Between Hope and Despair; In the Shadow of Saint Death: The Gulf Cartel and the Price of America's Drug War in Mexico; and Haiti Will Not Perish: A Recent History. He currently serves as Bloomberg's Caribbean correspondent, based in San Juan, Puerto Rico.