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Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History Paperback – July 11, 2000
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Erik Larson's book on the deadliest hurricane in history has two main focal points: the hurricane itself; and the human drama of Isaac Cline, the Galveston meteorologist who failed to predict the intensity of the storm. The book meanders through occasional dry stretches of Isaac's pre-storm biography, and through the history of the U.S. Weather Bureau (they were interesting, but not nearly as interesting as the storm), but once it focuses on the events of September 8, 1900 and beyond, I wasn't able to set "Isaac's Storm" down. Especially compelling are the eerie descriptions of what it's like to sail through the eye of a hurricane, and of course the narrative (from the viewpoints of several survivors) of what it was like to be in Galveston before, during, and after the storm. If you are afraid of storms or of water, you might not want to read this book because Erik Larson puts you right there when the storm debris is caving in the side of your house, or when the "tide suddenly rises fully four feet at one bound".
The Galveston Hurricane was a watershed for the advancement of hurricane prediction, as it became an urgent matter to avoid the horrific death tolls such as this storm produced. One aspect of this book is a depiction of the U.S. Weather Bureau during the storm, and it is not a complimentary portrait. It is the author's view that the huge death tolls of this storm might have been avoided if the U.S. Weather Bureau had been willing to listen to the Cuban forecasters, which had predicted the advance of a large hurricane; that in fact, the US Bureau was stubborn and dismissive of the Cuban meteorologists. Yet, as the author writes, the Cubans seemed to call every puff of wind that crossed their island a "hurricane," so how could you take them seriously? I feel the author's need to find fault with the U.S. Bureau for the high death toll is simply an example of the very current need to place the blame, from the comfort of 20/20 hindsight, of every bad event on somebody.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very interesting book about the timeline of events that lead to this disaster.Published 2 days ago by SSmith
Like all of Larson's books, he does a wonderful job of planting you right inside the book along with the people he is writing about. Read morePublished 4 days ago
The author's research gives great description and insight into the period of time he is writing about. The colors , smells and sites are vivid. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Gregory J. McClune
Not only a great writer and also a wonderful teacher who can explain things most so called experts cannot.Published 7 days ago by donzic
one of erik larson's best..I especially enjoyed it because i was recently in GalvestonPublished 9 days ago by Amazon Customer