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Isaac's storm : a man, a time, and the deadliest hurricane in history (1999 original; edició 1999)
de Erik Larson
Informació de l'obra
Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History de Erik Larson (1999)
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Interesting story about Galveston hurricane in about 1900. Listened to it on audio tape.
Meticulously researched and compellingly told, this book is an account of the hurricane that hit Galveston, Texas in 1900. As a child, I lived in Houston and took short beach vacations to Galveston. I had heard about this tragedy, so I was interested to find out the details of how a disaster of such magnitude had occurred with so little warning. The author has a way to bring what could easily be dry material to life in an engaging manner. I learned about the history of the weather service and more about how hurricanes develop. I recommend this book to those interested in meteorology, natural disasters, history or anyone who lives in areas prone to hurricanes. Even though hurricane tracking and warnings have improved dramatically since 1900, there is still much more to be learned, as we unfortunately found out with Hurricane Katrina.
An early work that is not quite as polished as later works but rewarding for it's wealth of details. 3.75 rating
The hurricane that hit Galveston, Texas, in September 1900 was deadly - more deadly than it had to be. The U.S. Weather Bureau was fighting an uphill battle to become a trusted source of weather news and predictions, and forecasters were strongly cautioned against using language (like "hurricane") that would panic the population - or make the weather bureau look foolish if the storm failed to materialize. Hubris caused a clash between experienced weather observers and forecasters in Cuba (at the Belen Observatory) and weather bureau employees, who disregarded - even suppressed - Cuban expertise, calling them emotional. This hubris resulted in devastating loss of life and the destruction of much of Galveston.
Front matter includes a map of the hurricane's path, with dates, and a street map of Galveston with some buildings identified. A third map of Galveston's location on the Texas coast would have been helpful, as well as a diagram of the hurricane, although good descriptions are given in the text.
Larson avoids lionizing Isaac Cline, nor does he place much blame at his feet.
The experience [of living through a hurricane] had to have influenced [Isaac's] appraisal of the survivability of hurricanes. (75)
The Weather Bureau's reluctance to use words like "hurricane" and "cyclone" inadvertently reinforced the bravado of sea captains... (109)
Once again, [the bureau's forecasters] tailored fact to suit their expectations. (112)
In the absence of a body, there was always hope. (237)
...[Isaac] had not understood the signs of warning until too late. (248)
Few asked the obvious question: If the bureau had done such a great job, why did so many people die? (253)
People seemed to believe that technology had stripped hurricanes of their power to kill. No hurricane expert endorsed this view. (end of the 20th century, 272)
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Wikipedia en anglès (3)
September 8, 1900, began innocently in the seaside town of Galveston, Texas. Even Isaac Cline, resident meteorologist for the U.S. Weather Bureau, failed to grasp the true meaning of the strange deep-sea swells and peculiar winds that greeted the city that morning. Mere hours later, Galveston found itself submerged by a monster hurricane that completely destroyed the town and killed over 6,000 people in what remains the greatest natural disaster in American history-and Isaac Cline found himself the victim of a devastating personal tragedy. Using Cline's own telegrams, letters, and reports, the testimony of scores of survivors, and our latest understanding of the science of hurricanes, Erik Larson builds a chronicle of one man's heroic struggle and fatal miscalculation in the face of a storm of unimaginable magnitude. Thrilling, powerful, and unrelentingly suspenseful, Isaac's Storm is the story of what can happen when human arrogance meets the uncontrollable force of nature.
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Classificació Decimal de Dewey (DDC)976.4139 — History and Geography North America South Central U.S. Texas Gulf Coast and East Texas Galveston-area Gulf Coast and Counties South of Houston Galveston County
LCC (Clas. Bibl. Congrés EUA)
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