Monday, May 5, 2014

Rising Tide Author John M. Barry Visits the University of New Orleans

Rising Tide Author John M. Barry Visits the University of New OrleansJohn M. Barry

Leading author and historian John M. Barry, best known in the South for his books on the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, visits the University of New Orleans on Friday to speak about wetlands loss and coastal restoration in Louisiana.

Barry, who authored the New York Times Bestseller Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America, comes to campus at the invitation of the Merritt C. Becker Jr. University of New Orleans Transportation Institute and the Metro New Orleans Section of the American Planning Association. He will speak from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, May 9 in the University Center Atchafalaya Room, Room 208.

Guests may bring a brown bag lunch or purchase lunch at one of the outlets on the first floor of the University Center. Coffee and drinks will be provided. Guests are encouraged to RSVP, as seating is limited.

Barry has authored books on the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, the influenza pandemic of 1918 and the development of the modern form of the ideas of separation of church and state and individual liberty. Barry, a graduate of Brown University and the University of Rochester, has been an author since 1989, when he published his first book, The Ambition and the Power: A true story of Washington, which the New York Times named in 1995 one of the 11 best books ever written on Congress and Washington. His most recent book is Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty, published by Viking Books in 2012.

Meet John M. Barry

Author and historian John M. Barry will speak from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, May 9 in the University Center Atchafalaya Room, Room 208.

Guests may bring a brown bag lunch or purchase lunch at one of the outlets on the first floor of the University Center. Coffee and drinks will be provided.

Guests are encouraged to RSVP as seating is limited.

RSVP to metro@louisianaplanning.com.

Dual Expertise

Barry served six years as a member of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, a levee board responsible for protecting the greater New Orleans metropolitan area on the east bank of the Mississippi River.

Last year, the SLFPA-E filed a historic lawsuit against nearly 100 oil gas and pipeline companies, including industry giants Exxon Mobil, BP, Shell and Chevron, for their role in destroying Louisiana's coast — Barry, who is no longer a member of the board, spearheaded the lawsuit and served as spokesman. He continues to argue for and speak on behalf of the lawsuit from the sidelines.

Barry's 1997 book Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America made the New York Times Best Seller list and won the 1998 Francis Parkman Prize from the Society of American Historians for the year's best book of American history. In 2004, GQ named Rising Tide one of nine pieces of writing essential to understanding America; also included on that list were Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address and Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letters from Birmingham.

The U.S. National Academies of Science recognized Barry's work on water-related issues by inviting him to give the 2006 Abel Wolman Distinguished Lecture on Water Resources. Barry is the only non-scientist ever to give that lecture.

Barry's best-selling 2004 book The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Greatest Plague in History won the 2005 Keck Communication Award from the United States National Academies of Science for the year's outstanding book on science or medicine. In 2005 Barry won the September 11th Award from the Center for Biodefense and Emerging Pathogens at Brown University for his contribution to pandemic preparation. He has served on a federal government's Infectious Disease Board of Experts, on the advisory board of MIT's Center for Engineering Fundamentals and on the advisory committee at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health for its Center for Refugee and Disaster Response.

Barry co-authored his book, The Transformed Cell: Unlocking the Mysteries of Cancer, with Steven Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Surgery Branch at the National Cancer Institute and a pioneer in the development of "immunotherapy" for cancer. The book was published in 12 languages.

The New Orleans resident's dual expertise in coastal restoration, water-related issues and infectious diseases has led to his induction into Delta Omega, the academic honorary society for public health, according to the author's website. Barry has advised the private sector and local, state, national, and international government officials about preparing for another influenza pandemic and advised officials and taken a direct role in preparing for water-related disasters.

In his role with the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority, which oversees several levee districts in the New Orleans area and the state's Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Barry together with fellow board members held responsibility for hurricane protection for the state of Louisiana. Following Hurricane Katrina, Tulane University awarded Barry an honorary doctorate for his contribution to the recovery of New Orleans.

Barry's opinions have been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Fortune, The Washington Post, Esquire and other publications. He has appeared as a guest commentator on every broadcast network in the U.S., including on NBC's Meet the Press, ABC's World News Tonight, PBS's The News Hour, numerous NPR shows, and such foreign media as the BBC and Al Jazeera.

 

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