Reading & Signing: Robert Fraga, author of The Greening of Oz


Event details

How does the reddest county in America go green? On May 4, 2007, an EF-5 tornado hit Greensburg, KS, (pop. 1,400). Virtually nothing remained of the town. Robert Fraga’s The Greening of Oz: Sustainable Architecture in the Wake of a Tornado (Wasteland Press: 2012) tells the story of that destruction, the heroism it inspired and how Greensburg rebuilt green.

Fraga’s book began as a case study of sustainable architecture—how the new buildings were designed and erected, but it evolved into “an analysis of all that underlay the rebuilding process,” Fraga said. Ultimately the book became the story of the townspeople themselves: how they reacted to the ruin of their lives and how the difficulties of going green threatened to derail the whole experiment.

“Greensburg has become a model for other towns damaged by violent weather; it points the way to sustainable growth in rural America,” Fraga said. The book launch of The Greening of Oz will be May 4, 2012 in Greensburg on the fifth anniversary of the EF5 tornado.

Fraga retired from Baker University, in Baldwin City, Kansas, in 2007. Previously, he taught in Egypt, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia as well as in this country. He has published both in the US and abroad on environmental issues. His interest in Greensburg grew out of a church-sponsored trip to do some cleanup. The audience for this book is the general public interested in environmental sustainability.

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