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“IT TAKES A NATION: How Strangers Became Family in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina”

ON SALE AUGUST 29th

New Book Chronicles How 30,000+ Hurricane Evacuees Were Housed by MoveOn Host Families.

To view “It Takes a Nation” in pdf format, please visit: http://www.moveon.org/r?r=1979 (cover) and http://www.moveon.org/r?r=1978 (book).

It Takes a Nation

“The letters in ‘It Takes a Nation’ are evidence that there remains a heart in America that still believes in compassion as the first of the virtues.”  – Norman Mailer

Within 24 hours of Hurricane Katrina touching ground in the Gulf Coast region last year, MoveOn.org Civic Action created HurricaneHousing.org—pairing over 30,000 evacuees with MoveOn members willing to open their homes.

Palace Press International's new book It Takes a Nation, due out on bookshelves nationwide in September, tells the story of how thousands of American families were brought together in the face of an extraordinary natural disaster—regardless of race, economic background, religious or political differences—through MoveOn Civic Action's HurricaneHousing.org program.

Volunteers brought aid to evacuees by providing much needed housing, cars, jobs, clothes, health care, and most importantly, community—offering a positive contrast to the national shame that was widely felt about the Bush administration’s handling of the Katrina crisis. 

It Takes a Nation presents an oral history and the only candid, first-person accounts of evacuees within the first two weeks of Hurricane Katrina as well as stunning photographs to chronicle their stories.

It Takes a Nation provides a window into the lives of 29 MoveOn host families and the Gulf Coast residents they welcomed into their homes.  The mass-scale effort—launched by MoveOn Civic Action and promoted by celebrities including Tim Robbins, John Cusack, R.E.M., Rosie Perez, Pearl Jam, Moby, the Beastie Boys, John Mellencamp, and The Roots—found temporary & long term housing for ten of thousands of hurricane evacuees. 

Compiled and edited by MoveOn Cultural Director Laura Dawn, their stories are presented in Studs Terkel-esque first person narratives based on hours of interviews conducted within 2 months of the storm and photographs by C.B. Smith during a two week tour directly following Katrina’s landfall in Louisiana.  It Takes a Nation also features forewords by Senator Barack Obama and MoveOn Executive Director Eli Pariser.

“The goodness detailed in It Takes a Nation proves that in this country still lies the capacity for greatness.  The oral histories in this collection show everyday heroes at work, as we see MoveOn members and countless other Americans welcome over 30,000 strangers into their homes as neighbors and friends.  It shows the power this online community has to strengthen our national community, and it calls each of us to do what we can to follow this heartfelt example,” writes Senator Barack Obama.

 “The title says it all—It Takes a Nation shows us that by joining together we can begin to heal the trauma that has forever changed the Gulf Coast and our country. So many Americans feel that we are living in divisive times, but MoveOn’s Hurricane Housing program proved that our core values are very similar when put to the test.  We are a great people, and it is in unity that we reach greatness.  The evacuees and housing donors who became family through this program are living and breathing on every page of this book,” said Michael Stipe of R.E.M.