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As a tool for learning from real life events the book serves a good purpose including several interesting case studies. Also the vignettes in each part are effective and useful. On the negative side I miss discussions and reflections of the cases as well as theoretical conclusions. Although it is a case book some deeper reflections would be interesting. A second negative critique is the one-sided use of US cases. The variation of societal and organizational contexts between nations makes the cases difficult to apply.
This is a key text for students studying disaster management and large scale catastrophes. Despite its North American focus, the high profile and varied case studies are accessible and interesting to a UK audience. There are a number of key features that support learning including clear chronologies of events, key figures and points for discussion.
Subsequent editions could consider providing an all important global perspective through the consideration of case studies from around the world.
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