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The Malbone Street Wreck Paperback – January 1, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0823219322 ISBN-10: 0823219321 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press; 2 edition (January 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823219321
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823219322
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.4 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,958,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


aThe Malbone Street Wreck is painstakingly researched, well written, and truly riveting.a

About the Author

BRIAN J. CUDAHY's books include Around Manhattan Island: And Other Maritime Tales ofNew York and A Century of Subways: Celebrating 100 Years of New York's Underground Railways (both Fordham). He lives in Bluffton, SC.

More About the Author

Brian Cudahy was born in Brooklyn, New York, and it was there that he developed a life-long fascination with subway trains. His first professional career was as a professor of philosophy, and he held positions on the faculoty of both Niagara University and Boston College. Cudahy left the academic world in the mid-1970s and spent the rest of his career working in the field of mass transportation, first with Boston's MBTA, then with the RTA in Chicago, and finally with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

He has published widely in two areas of transportation ... urban mass transit and maritime history. When Fordham University Press celebrated its centennial in 2007, Cudahy's history of the New York subways, "Under the Sidewalks of New York," was cited as one of the Press' ten best sellers during its first hundred years.

Brian Cudahy retired in 1999 and currently lives near Hilton Head, South Carolina. Watch out, though! One of these days, readers may be able to get an inside look at urban mass transit in America through Cudahy's first work of fiction, a book that will bear the title "Foggarty's Heart Attack."

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Goldie on June 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although it took place in 1918, The Malbone Street Wreck stands as the worst mass transit disaster in US history. And Brian Cudahy is the person to tell the tale. He has an unusual gift: He leads you through amazing amounts of detail without burying you in minutia. The "small pictures" of the various aspects of the events leading up to this transportation disaster are always beautifully and accurately drawn. They are then framed in the context of the "big picture" of the politics, geography and tenor of the time.
A great read for lovers of history, train lovers and anybody who appreciates a well crafted recounting of the complex causes of a shattering event.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rocco Dormarunno on November 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Like David von Drehle's narrative of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, Brian Cudahy has written an account of a New York disaster which had strong ramifications for the rest of America. And like TRIANGLE, Cudahy's THE MALBONE STREET WRECK does not exploit the tragedy for the sake of sensationalism and profit. It is a sober narrative which actually sends warning signals to the mass transit officials of today.
This remarkably short book is very thorough. Beginning with America's pulse during the final days of World War I and the influenza epidemic that scourged the nation and world, Mr. Cudahy then explores the world of 1918 New York. Specifically, he inspects the confluence of forces, such as local politics, labor relations, the profit motive of the train line owners, and others, that led to the placement of an untrained, unqualified transit worker in the motorman's booth of a rush hour train. The result being the violent death of almost 100 people in The Malbone Street Wreck.
Mr. Cudahy's research seems conscientious, and where he is unsure of the facts, he tells us so. There is an honesty to his narration that gives the story an almost personal tone. (His mother did lose two cousins in the wreck.) The several maps and illustrations are extremely helpful. And while the photos of the disaster site and wrecked subway cars are shocking, they are not gruesome. And they serve as strong reminders of the imperative for the transportation officials of today to adhere to strict safety standards.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gary David on December 11, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am writing a novel based on this incident; the books that I have so far been able to borrow at the public library go into it to a certain degree but I need something with more depth; "The Malbone Street Wreck" by Brian Cudahy fulfilled that task to my grateful satisfaction. My only quibble about this book is that I wish it had contained more photographs of the wreck and one of the motorman. The author dispels some myths that had circulated concerning the actual fate of the many passengers who were killed or injured an provides a descriptive "place mat" of the events that, either directly or indirectly, contributed to the tragic subway wreck in 1918. An absorbing read that will serve as an invaluable source of material for my burgeoning novel.
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