The Storm of the Century

The Storm of the Century

Tragedy, Heroism, Survival, and the Epic True Story of America's Deadliest Natural Disaster : the Great Gulf Hurricane of 1900

Book - 2015
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In this gripping narrative history, Al Roker from NBC's Today and the Weather Channel vividly examines the deadliest natural disaster in American history--a haunting and inspiring tale of tragedy, heroism, and resilience that is full of lessons for today's new age of extreme weather.

On the afternoon of September 8, 1900, two-hundred-mile-per-hour winds and fifteen-foot waves slammed into Galveston, the booming port city on Texas's Gulf Coast. By dawn the next day, the city that hours earlier had stood as a symbol of America's growth and expansion was now gone. Shattered, grief-stricken survivors emerged to witness a level of destruction never before seen: Eight thousand corpses littered the streets and were buried under the massive wreckage. Rushing water had lifted buildings from their foundations, smashing them into pieces, while wind gusts had upended steel girders and trestles, driving them through house walls and into sidewalks. No race or class was spared its wrath. In less than twenty-four hours, a single storm had destroyed a major American metropolis--and awakened a nation to the terrifying power of nature.

Blending an unforgettable cast of characters, accessible weather science, and deep historical research into a sweeping and dramatic narrative, The Storm of the Century brings this legendary hurricane and its aftermath into fresh focus. No other natural disaster has ever matched the havoc caused by the awesome mix of winds, rain, and flooding that devastated Galveston and shocked a young, optimistic nation on the cusp of modernity. Exploring the impact of the tragedy on a rising country's confidence--the trauma of the loss and the determination of the response--Al Roker illuminates the United States's character at the dawn of the "American Century," while also underlining the fact that no matter how mighty they may become, all nations must respect the ferocious potential of our natural environment.

Publisher: New York, NY : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2015]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062364654
Characteristics: 312 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, map ; 24 cm
Call Number: 976.4139 ROK


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Nov 15, 2017

I am a history enthusiast. Galveston's 1900 hurricane is one that interests me enough to read everything I can get my hands on about it.

Erik Larson's book "Isaac's Storm" was far better than this book.

Roker went into far too much detail about race relations in a book that should have been about meteorology and the disaster. I got so very bored by pages of non-relevant references to the race relations that I quit reading the book for several weeks. I had to renew it to finally read the remainder. Roker really should have written a separate book about race relations in Texas in 1900. This was NOT the place to push the segregation topic.

Al Roker has at least one thing very wrong. He claims that the Federal Government fired on Fort Sumter. In truth, the Confederates started the Civil War by firing on the Federal Fort Sumter! That made me question the accuracy of the rest of the book if he gets something so obviously wrong.

It was nothing but a rehashing plus a tale of the African American in Galveston 1900. I found the section on the relationship between the early weather service and their Cuban counterparts tedious. I kept asking myself just when were we going to get to the subject of what the book was supposed to be about!
Read "Isaac's Storm"... it is far more interesting. I couldn't put that book down once I started it. This one? I wouldn't recommend it.

Jun 05, 2017

Roker's book is a comprehensive look at the nat'l US situation, Cuban relations (poor), many personal accounts, excellent weather analysis (lacking in US weather bureau management) and graphic descriptions of the event & aftermath/recovery. The Publishers Weekly negative review of June 2015 is grossly inaccurate, biased & misleading.


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