: Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago ( ): Eric Klinenberg: Books. Editorial Reviews. From The New England Journal of Medicine. Like motorists who slow down “By the end of Heat Wave, Klinenberg has traced the lines of culpability in dozens of directions, drawing a dense and subtle portrait of exactly . Eric Klinenberg calls his ethnographic study of the Chicago heat wave a “ social autopsy,” which is a useful and suggestive way to describe both the horrific .

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The upshot of Klinenberg’s analysis of what led to so many deaths in Chicago in July, is that living alone leads to dying alone, as getting out of sweltering tenement apartments and single-occupancy rooms–the kind of accommodations peopled by the urban poor and elderly–is essential for survival in a heat wave.

Also, the declining funding for human services: Despite the fact that I was there, I never realized what a public health disaster this heat wave and other previous and subsequent ones was for Chicago until this book was assigned to me in grad school.

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. He also looks at how the city handled the public relations of the disaster, as well as the ho An interesting look at the heat wave that killed hundreds of Chicago residents.

Mar 06, Ruilinch rated it really liked it. In Palaces for the People, Eric Klinenberg suggests a way forward.

Klinenberg has some incredibly smart stuff to say about heat waves – natural disasters that generally cost more lives than any other kind tsunamis aside, I presumeand yet which are routinely ignored when people think about the challenge of responding to such a public health crisis. Indeed, the city failed to even implement its own emergency management plan for the disaster. The author describes heat waves as “silent and invisible kills of silenced and invisible people”.

Our social infrastructure could be the key to bridging our heatt unbridgeable divides—and safeguarding democracy. This includes New Orleans and other areas prone to Hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. Feb 22, Catherine rated it it was ok Shelves: Mar 21, Kangning Huang rated it it was amazing.

This book is organized around a social autopsy of the Chicago heat wave. Klinenberg’s book is illustrated with indelible klinenbrrg of the disaster, including photos of emergency workers removing victims in body bags from locked, air-tight apartments: We really are the stupidest people on earth. The klinenbert focuses on four phenomenon: The first half of this book, detailing the Chicago Heat Wave that killed people, is actually quite fascinating.


The majority of the deaths were isolated elderly people who lived in poverty-ridden areas, and Klinenberg does an excellent job detailing the social causes for their deaths. The Unwanted Child Joel F. Nov 06, Comtesse DeSpair rated it liked it. They weren’t affected by ecological depletion, collapse of local infrastructure and commerce, population decline, and high levels of violent criminal activity. The elderly poor victims often had no surviving family members in the area to check on them and were socially isolated, often due to high crime in their neighborhoods.

The city and federal government also failed on a number of other measures. Aug 12, Ben rated it really liked it Shelves: A lack of energy assistance, the result of federal budget cuts, meant that fixed-income residents were unable to afford air-conditioning on a regular basis. That is a huge difference, and one that we should try to explain.

A trenchant, multilayered and well-written social autopsy of disaster. Chicago and Illinois Political Science: Malcolm Gladwell New Yorker.

Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago by Eric Klinenberg

In order to get out of their rooms and apartments, however, both the poor and elderly need to have welcoming and cool places to go, they need to feel safe walking their neighborhood streets and sidewalks, and they need to feel connected with or at least trusting of their neighbors and surrounding communities.

The story of the deadly Chicago heat wave is fascinating enough, but don’t expect Eric Klinenberg’s book to be a popularly-accessible page-turner. A mixture of sociology, epidemiology, and personal anecdotes of those who survived or died during a heat wave in a modern US city.

The film is still a work in progress so only about 20 minutes were screened but it’s a fascinating topic. If the idea of conducting a social autopsy sounds peculiar, this is largely because modern political and medical institutions have attained monopolistic roles in officially explaining, defining, and classifying life and death, in establishing the terms and categories that structure the way we see and do not see the world.


Heat Wave Quotes

I have to say, though, the llinenberg and figures he presents are pretty astounding. And by July 20, over seven hundred people had perished-more than twice the number that died in the Chicago Fire oftwenty times the number of those struck by Hurricane Andrew in —in the great Chicago heat wave, one of the deadliest in American history.

The heat wave exposed the significant weaknesses of the service delivery methods of the Chicago municipal government. When the heat wave broke a week later, city streets had buckled; the records for electrical use were shattered; and power grids had failed, leaving residents without electricity for up to two days. The poor, the elderly, and the isolated are forgotten about in society which directly contributes to their demise during a disaster.

Recommended if you’re in the mood to do some work to get to the meat of the story; it brought me right back to grad school but in a “late night exhausted reading session” way more than a “stimulating class discussion” way. Until now, no one could explain either the overwhelming number or the heartbreaking manner of the deaths resulting from the Chicago heat wave. I was too hot to even hrat. Richly reported, elegantly written, and ultimately uplifting, Palaces for the People urges us to acknowledge the crucial role heeat spaces play in civic life.

The police and fire departments were over-worked and there was no ability to coordinate services or even recognize the situation existed. I found it fascinating how a state’s prior management or lack of of their city could result in such destructive consequences.

The State of Disaster: Eric Klineberg’s “social autopsy” of the Chicago heat wave looks at the social isolation of seniors who lived in high-crime neighborhoods and were afraid to leave their houses or open t I was recently stunned by the fact that Cook County had the klinenbeeg number of weather-related deaths of any county in the U. It is well-suited for required reading in public health and social science courses and for fascinating armchair reading. Klinenberg’s “Heat Wave” is an engaging, interesting example of public sociology.