Words Whispered in Water is selected by Publishers Weekly

Founder Rosenthal’s book was selected by Publishers Weekly in its quarterly listing of titles in Politics & Current Events.

Being selected by Publishers Weekly means the book is considered important and needs to be included in all libraries.

The book––coming out August 11 in paperback––is published by the Florida-based Mango Publishing.

Here is what Publishers Weekly had to say about the book.

Words Whispered in Water: Why the Levees Broke in Hurricane Katrina by Sandy Rosenthal documents the author’s battle to hold the Army Corps of Engineers to account for the flooding of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.

This is a splendid development for the debut author.

For the full listing of titles in Publishers Weekly’s Fall 2020 Announcement, click here.

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The Big Lie and How it All Started; 1st of 4 Excerpts from Words Whispered in Water by founder Sandy Rosenthal

Levees.org founder Sandy Rosenthal has released the first of four excerpts from her debut book, Words Whispered in Water: Why the Levees Broke in Hurricane Katrina (Mango Publishing, August 2020).

The excerpt is called The Big Lie and How it All Started. It comes from Chapter 2; The Flood.


In Washington, DC, (September 28, 2005) the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development hosted a hearing on the costs associated with the August 2005 flood.[i] Members of Congress, who were responsible for how much aid the people of Greater New Orleans would receive, needed accurate information.

Anu Mittal, Director of Natural Resources and Environment, testified on why the levees were still not complete when storm surge arrived. She read from a script, which she later destroyed, and which bore little resemblance to the General Accounting Office (GAO) report she had submitted that day. Here is the key excerpt:

“… After the (levee) project was authorized in 1965, the Corps started building the barrier plan … parts of the project faced significant opposition from local sponsors and they did not provide the rights of way that the corps needed to build the project on schedule. But most importantly there were serious concerns relating to environmental impacts of the control barriers that were supposed to be constructed … on the tidal passages to the lake. This ultimately resulted in a legal challenge and in 1977, the courts enjoined the corps from constructing the barrier complexes. …” [Emphasis added.][ii]

The effect of the testimony was lethal.

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New cover design for “Words Whispered” unveiled today

Jacket cover

Recently, Mango Publishing reached out to us with a request.

Mango’s sales reps were “really into” Levees.org founder Sandy Rosenthal’s upcoming book and wanted a jacket that would “really sing.”

So we tapped local artist and photographer Michael Styborski who created an eye-catching look. Styborski selected a photograph that he took in the Lower Ninth Ward after the Army Corps of Engineers’ levees broke.

In his words: “Perhaps a blue caste or overlay on a shot for a symbolic representation? And maybe use a negative that demands attention?”

We think the new cover graphic conveys the striking effect of dark menacing unbridled waters––under a blue sky.

What better way to say, it was the levees, not Mother Nature?

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