Barbour’s new book, “America’s Great Storm,” details the first 12 months after the worst natural disaster in American history

Today former Governor Haley Barbour announced his Mississippi tour schedule for his new book, America’s Great Storm: Leading through Hurricane Katrina. The tour, which begins Aug. 22, will give Mississippians an opportunity to visit with Gov. Barbour during visits to several cities across the state.

“As we approach the ten-year anniversary of Katrina, I look forward to visiting with many of the same individuals who made the Mississippi Katrina story unique. Our state was forever changed by America’s great storm, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to tell the Mississippi story to readers across the country. I hope I do this wonderful story justice,” Governor Barbour said.

When Hurricane Katrina hit Mississippi on August 29, 2005, it unleashed the costliest natural disaster in American history, and the third deadliest. Haley Barbour had been Mississippi’s governor for only twenty months when he assumed responsibility for guiding his pummeled, stricken state’s recovery and rebuilding efforts.

America’s Great Storm is not only a personal memoir of his role in that recovery, but also a sifting of the many lessons he learned about leadership in a time of massive crisis. Joined by co-author Jere Nash, Gov. Barbour’s memoir includes interviews with more than forty-five key people involved in helping Mississippi recover, including local, state, and federal officials as well as private citizens who played pivotal roles in the weeks and months following Katrina’s landfall. In addition to covering in detail the days in September and October of 2005, chapters focus on the special legislative session that allowed casinos to build on shore; the role of the recovery commission chaired by Jim Barksdale; a behind-the-scenes description of working with Congress to pass an unprecedented, multi-billion-dollar emergency disaster assistance appropriation; and the enormous roles played by volunteers in rebuilding the entire housing, transportation, and education infrastructure of south Mississippi and the Gulf Coast.

A final chapter analyzes the leadership lessons and strategies Barbour employed on behalf of the people of the state, observations that will be valuable to anyone tasked with leading in a crisis.

Gov. Barbour will participate in the inaugural Mississippi Book Festival on Saturday, Aug. 22 at the State Capitol. A full listing of the book tour is included below.

America’s Great Storm Book Tour
(including public events and press availability)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

2-3:30 p.m. Mississippi Book Festival panel (State Capitol, Room 216)

6-8 p.m. Turnrow Books book signing (304 Howard Street, Greenwood, MS 38930)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

2-4 p.m. Square Books book signing (160 Courthouse Square, Oxford, MS 38655)

Monday, August 24, 2015

11-12:30 p.m. Reed’s Gumtree Bookstore book signing (111 S. Spring Street, Tupelo, MS 38804)

2:30-3:30 p.m. Mississippi State University lecture and book signing (Mitchell Memorial Library – John Grisham Room, 395 Hardy Road, Mississippi State, MS 39762)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

1-2 p.m. Community Bank book signing (301 22nd Avenue South, Meridian, MS 39301)

4:30-6 p.m. Lemuria Bookstore book signing (4465 North Hwy 55 #202, Jackson, MS 39206)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

12-1:30 p.m. Mississippi Department of Archives & History’s “History is Lunch” lecture and book signing (Old Capitol, Jackson)

3:30-5 p.m. Lauren Rogers Museum of Art book signing (565 N. 5th Avenue, Laurel, MS 39440)

6-7:30 p.m. University of Southern Mississippi lecture and book signing (Trent Lott Center, 118 College Drive, Hattiesburg, MS 39406)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

9 a.m. Leadership Mississippi lecture and book signing (open only to class participants)

10:30-11:15 a.m. Media Press Avail (Beau Rivage, Biloxi, MS). For more information, please contact Rebekah Staples at the number and/or email listed above.

12-2 p.m. Pass Christian Books book signing (300 East Scenic Drive, Pass Christian, MS 39571)

2:15-3:30 p.m. Bay Books book signing (131 Main Street, Bay St. Louis, MS 39520)

Friday, August 28, 2015

8-9 a.m. Mississippi Gulf Coast Business Council/University of Southern Mississippi joint event (USM’s Gulf Park Campus – Fleming Education Center & Auditorium, 730 E. Beach Blvd., Long Beach, MS 39560)

General inquiries about the book tour can be sent to [email protected] Residents can also keep track of Gov. Barbour’s events by following @AmericasGr8Strm on twitter or liking “America’s Great Storm: Leading through Hurricane Katrina” on Facebook. Individuals interested in purchasing the book online can do so by visiting the publisher’s website ( or

Governor Haley Barbour Press Release