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Gone at 3:17: The Untold Story of the Worst School Disaster in American History Hardcover – January 1, 2012


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Gone at 3:17: The Untold Story of the Worst School Disaster in American History + My Boys and Girls Are in There: The 1937 New London School Explosion + A Texas Tragedy:  The New London School Explosion
Price for all three: $53.40

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books (January 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612341535
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612341538
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #477,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The 1937 New London explosion was a great American tragedy that once again demonstrates the courage, basic decency, and resiliency of American citizens. Gone at 3:17 will bring tears to your eyes, followed by a sense of pride, as you read this well-documented, absorbing, and poignant story."—Dr. Cyril Wecht, past president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American College of Legal Medicine
(Dr. Cyril Wecht)

"Based on scores of interviews and an intimate understanding of a community torn by tragedy, Gone at 3:17 is the definitive study of the 1937 New London school explosion. This engrossing narrative of sorrow and survival burrows deep inside one of the greatest disasters in American history. Readers will come to view the Depression-era residents of Rusk County as neighbors and friends."—David Welky, author of The Thousand-Year Flood: The Ohio-Mississippi Disaster of 1937
(David Welky)

"Using recollections of survivors, witnesses, and journalists to tell this painful story in excruciatingly vivid detail, Brown and Wereschagin allow us to get to know the children, their parents, and their teachers. The story needs to be a part of our national legacy because there are lessons still to be learned."—Ellie Goldberg, educator and creator of the Lessons of the 1937 Texas School Explosion campaign to promote awareness of chemical hazards in schools
(Ellie Goldberg)

"I have finished my first reading, but it will not be my last. I commend the authors on an excellent book that will help many people continue to work through the horror of it all."—Ben Meador of Dallas and witness to the New London School explosion that claimed his brother’s life
(Ben Meador)

"Gone at 3:17 is the most compelling nonfiction I’ve read since In Cold Blood. The detail is incredible. The story line is gripping. The writing is stellar. The chapter on the explosion will make you cry."—Brad Bumsted, state capitol reporter for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
(Brad Bumsted)

"Brown and Wereschagin fully understand that to richly describe, one must first vigorously report. This mesmerizing book reads like a novel not only because of their lucid prose but also as the result of their painstaking research and respect for the truth. Gone at 3:17 serves as a stunningly gracious tribute to the victims and survivors."—Chuck Plunkett, politics editor, Denver Post
(Chuck Plunkett)

About the Author

David M. Brown is an award-winning journalist with thirty years’ experience writing for newspapers. He lives in South Fayette, Pennsylvania.

Michael Wereschagin is an award-winning reporter with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He lives on Pittsburgh’s North Side.

Customer Reviews

Kudos to David and Michael a job well done.
Lynn
Author made this tragedy very personal with the stories he shared and how it was handled with what they had available at that time!
jcrack
This book is well worth the read for anyone interested in US history.
Tricia

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By j74 on March 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I preordered this book in December because I knew it was going to be published in January. I work in the East Texas area and have had the privilege of meeting three survivors of the explosion and I was captivated by their stories. I knew that this book, after 20 years of research, would be the best way to learn about the story and put the pieces together I had already gathered.

This book did NOT disappoint. From the first page, I felt like I was there, in 1937, with all of the sounds and emotions of so many involved. The chapter about the explosion itself was like there were cameras capturing everything and I was able to watch it unfold, not just read about it.

Whenever I am close to the towns where everything happened: from passing the location of Daisy Bradford #3, driving by the school and monument, or slowing down as Pleasant Hill Cemetary appears, I can't help but feel like I am on hallowed ground. There have been several pictures drawn by children after the explosion depicting the victims as angels. I feel like those angels continue to draw people to that place to help them understand what happened, to tell their story. I believe that Mr Brown, and later, Mr Wereschagin, were drawn into Pleasant Hill cemetary by those angels so their story could be told by the best people who could possibly tell it. My sincerest appreciation and respect to the authors and their staff for the time, energy, and devotion that produced a tremendous book telling a wrenching story that should never be forgotten.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Trip on February 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Just got through reading the book.

I found it exciting to read, but also very emotional. I've followed the NLSD since 1973, but I've never found myself getting as emotional as I did reading some of the chapters. There were a few nights I couldn't sleep, thinking over and over about the explosion, the children and the hardship families had to endure.

It still haunts me today, and I lost no family members nor do I have any connection with the explosion. My thanks and gratitude to David Brown for writing the book. I believe it will go down in history as an accurate testimony, forever telling the world about the true emotions and sacrifice of that day.

Robert E. Hilliard
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Vivian on February 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Do not miss a word of this book. From the acknowledgements,the insighful preface, to the section called In Memoriam that lists the names of the lost, you will be moved as these authors guide you through an unspeakable tragedy. You will come to love these children. Their story will stay with me for the rest of my life. The courage, the dignity of those left behind is awe-inspiring. Read it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jwe5562 on February 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Compelling story of a disaster that killed so many in a flash of a moment. The interviews and story continuations make one able to see the disaster unfold. It shows the terror that the families felt and also the outcome of this disaster. The world learned from this town what safety precautions need to be taken and world wide it served as a reason to put the smell into Natural Gas. Book is welll written, facts were gathered, and a story that needed to be told was told. Kudos to the authors for their perceptions and delivery of the facts and sorrows.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By CK McC on April 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Gone at 3:17 is a true story that reads like a suspenseful, emotionally charged novel. The authors have expertly put the reader at the epicenter of the worst school disaster in US history, weaving the nearly 300 victims' stories into one powerfully told narative. If you like to read, read this book. For occasional readers, Gone at 3:17 is not to be missed. I hope the authors are ready to write the screenplay.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Evans on April 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Most of the books written about the New London School Explosion have been either inaccurate, sentimental, or just fiction. This is a well researched journalistic summary of the entire event. It's the book we've needed and now we don't need any more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mac Pro on August 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I grew up hearing from my dad about "that school in Texas that blew up in the gas explosion." He worked for the local natural gas company and repeatedly talked about how foolish people were with how they were not cautious enough with such a dangerous product. And years ago when the company added an odor to their gas so it could be detected if there was a leak he reminded us that the industry had learned a lesson because of "that school in Texas." I never really knew the whole tragic story but reading this book helps me understand even more why he was so disturbed by it. I also had several relatives living and working in the Texas panhandle and when visiting saw rows and rows of pipes shooting flames in the sky where the gas was being burned off. The writers did an exceptional job of research. The characters came to life and made the event even more tragic. I can't even imagine what it would have been like, especially to those parents who lost ALL their children. Because there were so many people involved I appreciated the authors reminding us of who they were. I read a lot of "tragedy" books, because I like to know about the heroic efforts of those who survive, and this may be the best. I understand how it happened and appreciate the measures that were enacted so that it will never happen again. God bless those families that still suffer.
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Gone at 3:17: The Untold Story of the Worst School Disaster in American History
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