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That’s the way LSU’s Charles P. Manship Professor of History Andrew Burstein describes Hell and High Water: The Battle to Save the Daily New Orleans Times-Picayune, a new book by former T-P reporter Rebecca Theim that is being released by Pelican Publishing this month.

Hell and High WaterTheim was living and working in Las Vegas when word broke on the decision to cut publication of the Picayune to three days a week and lay off hundreds of reporters, photographers, and other employees.

Her first response was to form Dash Thirty Dash, The Times-Picayune Employee Assistance Fund, to help cushion the financial blow about to befall those who were coming under the axe, many of whom were personal friends and former coworkers. Through that organization, Theim launched a fundraising effort that was supported by hundreds of people who wanted to help while mourning the losses.

But Theim didn’t stop there. She believed that documenting the tragedy in book form would establish an important historical record, and rather than leave the task to someone else she decided to do it herself.

The result is Hell and High Water, which has received high marks in pre-publication reviews.

An excerpt appears in the October issue of New Orleans Magazine, and a read-through will definitely whet your appetite for the full release, which is being celebrated at Rock ‘n’ Bowl from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Friday, October 18.

In the meantime, locals can pre-order the book at Octavia Books, which is hosting Theim’s first book-signing on Thursday, October 17, beginning at 6:00 p.m.

For those not able to buy local, the book is also available at

However you do it, be sure to get your hands on a copy. It’s a book you will want to keep in your collection as the definitive documentary and analysis of the Newhousing of New Orleans.