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Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood…
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Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 (2003 original; edició 2003)

de Stephen Puleo (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
6622928,189 (3.94)112
Around noon on January 15, 1919, a group of firefighters was playing cards in Boston's North End when they heard a tremendous crash. It was like roaring surf, one of them said later. Like a runaway two-horse team smashing through a fence, said another. A third firefighter jumped up from his chair to look out a window-"Oh my God!" he shouted to the other men, "Run!" A 50-foot-tall steel tank filled with 2.3 million gallons of molasses had just collapsed on Boston's waterfront, disgorging its contents as a 15-foot-high wave of molasses that at its outset traveled at 35 miles an hour. It demolished wooden homes, even the brick fire station. The number of dead wasn't known for days. It would be years before a landmark court battle determined who was responsible for the disaster.… (més)
Membre:ToddBlair
Títol:Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919
Autors:Stephen Puleo (Autor)
Informació:Beacon Press (2003), Edition: First Edition, 280 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:Cap

Informació de l'obra

Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 de Stephen Puleo (2003)

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» Mira també 112 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 29 (següent | mostra-les totes)
This is a very interesting book. I had no knowledge of this horrible event and learned a lot reading this. The book is well written and kept me riveted from page 1. Read it is 2 days. Highly recommend. ( )
  Nefersw | Jan 14, 2022 |
Once you read this book, never again will you put any credence in that old saying, “as slow as molasses in January.” On January 15, 1919, a torrent of fast-moving, sticky molasses burst from its confines in a fifty-foot tank. Within seconds, the beginning tidal wave, 25 feet high and 160 feet wide, pulverized the entire waterfront and a half-mile swath of Commercial Street, where the tank had been located. This comprehensive and well-researched account of that tragedy is a gripping tale of those whose lives were snuffed out and of those who survived but suffered the ill effects for the remainder of their days. Author Stephen Puleo has written a clear and well-organized account of the flood in this book that reads like a novel but is all too true. He gives an overview of the history of that time period, of the politics and the anarchists who made headlines, of the flood itself, and of the trial that ensued. It’s a tragedy that changed lives, but it also changed laws and the way big business is viewed by society. Puleo has captured the heart of the neighborhood and the horror of the disaster waiting to unfold in this compelling read. ( )
  Maydacat | Feb 24, 2021 |
3.75 stars

In 1915, a giant tower meant to store molasses was built in Boston, near the water, near the train tracks, right beside a poor and crowded area of the city. In January 1919, the molasses burst from the tower, creating a wave that eventually left 21 dead and many more injured.

In addition to info on the tower and the disaster, the book included information on politics at the time and other happenings (the war, the Spanish flu). It followed a few families who were affected or who had some “doings” with the tower, who later testified in court. It had information about anarchists at the time (the company that owned the tower blamed anarchists for dropping a bomb in the tower causing the flood).

I found the parts about the families, the people involved, the flood itself, and the trial after to be quite interesting. Where I lost interest (and the book lost a quarter star) was in the political discussion and the anarchists. I read the ebook, which apparently came from the slightly later paperback edition, which included an additional afterword. This was interesting, as the author described letters he received from descendants of many of the people involved. ( )
  LibraryCin | Jun 28, 2020 |
Spanning approximately ten years - from 1915, when the molasses tank was constructed in Boston's North End, to 1925, when the civil case was finally settled - Dark Tide tells the story of the molasses flood of 1919, setting it in the context of America's entry into WWI and the postwar years: depression, labor movement, anarchist activity, Warren G. Harding's Republican pro-Big Business administration replacing Woodrow Wilson's government, and the Roaring Twenties. Certain characters stand out, either for their culpability (Arthur P. Jell of US Industrial Alcohol) or their fair-mindedness and sense of justice (Hugh W. Ogden). Thousands of pages of court transcription provided an excellent primary source for Puleo to construct this story of a disaster peculiar in one way (molasses!) and all to common in another (corporations being careless with safety and people's lives).

Quotes/notes

p. 17 The Boston Building Department considered the tank a "receptacle" and not a "building," thus only required a permit for the foundation.
p. 17 in violation of the contract with Hammond, Jell did not test the tank for leaks by filling it with water before the first shipment of molasses.

p. 47 the "Triangle Trade": slaving ships left New England for the coast of West Africa; traded rum for slaves; sailed to the West Indies and sold slaves for molasses (and other goods); returned to New England to process the molasses into rum (repeat)

p. 70 "If the leaks were clear enough for others to see, why didn't his company do something? What if the tank collapsed? What if someone bombed it? Wasn't the tank more vulnerable to dynamite if it was structurally weak to begin with? Why did Mr. Jell and Mr. White ignore his warnings?" (Isaac Gonzales)

p. 70 August, 1918: tank painted (from gray to rust-brown, better to camouflage the molasses dripping down the sides)

p. 158 "Police never apprehended anyone for the Brooklyn fire [at the USIA's factory]."

p. 197 Would it stifle the expansion of plants and factories if they were required to attain unattainable levels of safety? (Choate's argument)

Epilogue (p. 234-235)
effects of Boston molasses flood: (1) ended 300 years' worth of high-volume molasses trade in Boston and New England, (2) had a long-term impact on construction safety standards in Boston and across the country ("Interestingly, the Boston molasses flood did for building construction regulations what a subsequent Boston disaster, the great Coconut Grove nightclub fire, did for fire code laws"), (3) increased citizenship and assimilation among Italians (who realized "the importance of becoming involved in the political process to protect their rights and their interests").

The feeling that Big Business could not be trusted to police itself grew stronger in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Citizens demanded, and got, broader regulations and government oversight... ( )
  JennyArch | Jun 6, 2020 |
Good balanced review of the disaster in Boston.
Big business versus little people. Some things never change. Greed trumps common sense
Well worth reading although wandering off the subject more than I thought necessary. ( )
  busterrll | May 6, 2019 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 29 (següent | mostra-les totes)
The sections of the book devoted to actually recounting the flood and the trial are the best moments in the book, particularly the snippets of newspaper articles and court transcripts Puleo includes. Though these sections probably occupy just as many pages as the historical background, they are more interesting and have better dramatic pacing.
 
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Around noon on January 15, 1919, a group of firefighters was playing cards in Boston's North End when they heard a tremendous crash. It was like roaring surf, one of them said later. Like a runaway two-horse team smashing through a fence, said another. A third firefighter jumped up from his chair to look out a window-"Oh my God!" he shouted to the other men, "Run!" A 50-foot-tall steel tank filled with 2.3 million gallons of molasses had just collapsed on Boston's waterfront, disgorging its contents as a 15-foot-high wave of molasses that at its outset traveled at 35 miles an hour. It demolished wooden homes, even the brick fire station. The number of dead wasn't known for days. It would be years before a landmark court battle determined who was responsible for the disaster.

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