Isaac's Storm - Erik Larson
At the dawn of the twentieth century, a great confidence suffused
America. Isaac Cline was one of the era's new men, a scientist who
believed he knew all there was to know about the motion of clouds and
the behavior of storms. The idea that a hurricane could damage the city
of Galveston, Texas, where he was based, was to him preposterous, "an
absurd delusion." It was 1900, a year when America felt bigger and
stronger than ever before. Nothing in nature could hobble the gleaming
city of Galveston, then a magical place that seemed destined to become
the New York of the Gulf.
That August, a strange, prolonged heat
wave gripped the nation and killed scores of people in New York and
Chicago. Odd things seemed to happen everywhere: A plague of crickets
engulfed Waco. The Bering Glacier began to shrink. Rain fell on
Galveston with greater intensity than anyone could remember. Far away,
in Africa, immense thunderstorms blossomed over the city of Dakar, and
great currents of wind converged. A wave of atmospheric turbulence
slipped from the coast of western Africa. Most such waves faded quickly.
This one did not.
In Cuba, America's overconfidence was made all
too obvious by the Weather Bureau's obsession with controlling
hurricane forecasts, even though Cuba's indigenous weathermen had
pioneered hurricane science. As the bureau's forecasters assured the
nation that all was calm in the Caribbean, Cuba's own weathermen fretted
about ominous signs in the sky. A curious stillness gripped Antigua.
Only a few unlucky sea captains discovered that the storm had achieved
an intensity no man alive had ever experienced.
reassured by Cline's belief that no hurricane could seriously damage the
city, there was celebration. Children played in the rising water.
Hundreds of people gathered at the beach to marvel at the fantastically
tall waves and gorgeous pink sky, until the surf began ripping the
city's beloved beachfront apart. Within the next few hours Galveston
would endure a hurricane that to this day remains the nation's deadliest
natural disaster. In Galveston alone at least 6,000 people, possibly as
many as 10,000, would lose their lives, a number far greater than the
combined death toll of the Johnstown Flood and 1906 San Francisco
Earthquake. And Isaac Cline would experience his own unbearable loss.
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Crown; 1st edition (August 24, 1999)
MY THOUGHTS: I don't usually read Non-Fiction books. May 3 or 4 a year. So I've taken up a challenge over at Good Reads/Wacky Challenges. The challenge is called Strolling Through Non-Fiction. So far I've read 4 Non-Fiction books and all of them have been awesome books. They held my attention throughout the book. Which is a good thing. This book was really great, I had no idea of the ordeal or damage a hurricane can do. Oh yes, I've seen the news on T.V., but that doesn't really give you the scope of the damage and lives lost like this book did. It follows several families that lived in Galvestion, Texas at the time. It describes all the issues with the Weather Bureau at the time, the families daily routines, the weather, and then destruction and loss caused by the hurricane. If you want to read about this, I strongly recommend this books. I give this book 5......
This book is for 3 of my reading challenges......
Outdo Yourself Challenge
Strolling Through Non-Fiction Challenge
Library Love Challenge