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Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 Paperback – September 16, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From The New Yorker
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Photo Credit: Patricia Doyle, 2010.
Top Customer Reviews
Puleo expertly connects the molasses flood to the Great War (the USIA was distilling molasses for industrial alcohol used in munitions production), anarchism and the Red Scare (the tank was built in a southern Italian district), Prohibition, and the pro-Big Business administrations of Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge. The author also demonstrates, mostly through the deposition of the USIA assistant treasurer responsible for the tank's construction, the unbelievably rushed and careless manner in which the tank was built. It leaked profusely from the outset. Workers near the tank, even the children in the community, noticed the leaks but the company responded only by occasionally re-caulking the plates and rivets and painting the tank molasses color to make the leaks less noticeable.Read more ›
Stephen Puleo has done a masterful job in this book of telling the story of this storage tank; it's construction, use, disintegration and the aftermath. This is a story not just of a disaster but of the social tensions of that era and the callous disregard for human life displayed by big industry in search of war profits. Puelo however, has also managed to make this the story of the victims of this tragedy. The story is riveting in itself but the author's ability to give a human face to the disaster makes this book not only an interesting read but a touching one as well.
United States Industrial Alcohol (USIA) used molasses to make it's product and that industrial alcohol was in turn used by companies like DuPont to make smokeless gunpowder and high explosives for artillery shells. World War I had greatly increased the demand for industrial alcohol and as USIA increased it's production they decided that they needed this molasses storage tank. As Puleo tells his readers about the construction of the tank he begins to introduce his audience to some of the people who lived and worked near by.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Historical nonfiction doesn't get much better than this - disaster tale, courtroom drama, compelling personal stories, fascinating historical context, and suspenseful writing that... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Crazy Calvin
I live outside of Boston, so I had a special interest in reading this book. It's an excellent story, and Puleo is a good storyteller. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Peter Z. Simpson
An interesting piece of history brought to life, but the writing isn't as good as you'd hope. It has the making of a great Erik Larson tale, weaving into a discrete incident tales... Read morePublished 2 months ago by embchess
Wow, what a suprise. I never knew there was a molasses flood. And all the politics behind it was shocking. A very interesting book.Published 2 months ago by Linda Wagner