Reflections on an eventful presidency

November 14, 2013 8:45 AM

Heide Winston

After years of being asked whether he would ever write a book about his Hurricane Katrina experiences, Tulane University President Scott Cowen has completed a manuscript about the time after the storm that proved to be both an enormous challenge and opportunity.

President Scott Cowen's new book

In his new book, Tulane President Scott Cowen intertwines stories of ordinary citizens and extraordinary civic leaders with personal insights about his adopted hometown.

In his book, The Inevitable City; The Resurgence of New Orleans and the Future of Urban America, Cowen intertwines the stories of ordinary citizens and extraordinary civic leaders with personal anecdotes and insights into the fascinating history and culture of his adopted hometown.

“While it clearly is a manifestation of what I believe in and what I stand for, The Inevitable City is not about me, it’s not a memoir,” Cowen says. “I wrote a book about the amazing recovery of New Orleans and the resilience and creativity of the people who helped rebuild the city.”

Above all, it’s a book about leadership in times of crisis that offers inspiring examples of urban renewal. With a foreword by Walter Isaacson and organized into 10 chapters that illustrate Cowen’s principles of leadership, The Inevitable City is meant to be a guide for others in positions of great responsibility as well as emerging leaders.

“It was a tremendous adventure and pleasure to work on this book. Being able to relive some of the toughest and most exhilarating moments of my time as Tulane’s president was a deeply meaningful experience,” says Cowen.

Looking back on his post-Katrina presidency, he adds, “The past eight years have most likely been the most formative years of my professional life, and I consider it a privilege and responsibility to share lessons learned.”

The Inevitable City won’t be officially published until June 2014, but a summary and reviews of Cowen’s book by Michael Lewis and James Carville are already available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Heide Winston is the special assistant to Tulane University President Scott Cowen for civic engagement and research. 

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