Washed Away: How the Great Flood of 1913, America's Most Widespread Natural Disaster, Terrorized a Nation and Changed It Forever 1st Edition, Kindle Edition
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- Length: 418 pages
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
- Page Flip: Enabled
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“Williams meticulously and brilliantly captures the roughly 2,000-mile journey and the larger-than-life characters. The result is a fine, unlikely, and intimate journey into the American past, across the deserts, mountains and plains with heroes bearing wild aspirations long since gone.” —The Washington Post
“Williams has evocatively recreated a long-forgotten event, mixing colorful anecdotes from the race with vivid portraits of the runners.” —Publishers Weekly
“Williams recounts the story with gusto, giving us a real sense of the physical and mental toll. The book is like a time capsule—and an extremely entertaining one at that.” —Booklist
About the Author
- ASIN : B00AFB5N1K
- Publisher : Pegasus Books; 1st edition (February 5, 2013)
- Publication date : February 5, 2013
- Language : English
- File size : 3738 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 418 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #216,435 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Written in a timeline type narrative, the story of the flood moves at a fairly quick pace, going back and forth from Dayton to other parts of the Midwest documenting not only nature's fury, but people's reactions and actions which either saved them from certain death by drowning or swept them into the current, some never to be seen again.
The book has photos at the end of it, but I found many other online that gave me a better idea of the damage the weather and the flood caused. I had never heard of weather like this before. People on their rooftops in the rain and then the snow and freezing temperatures, while in other parts of the country severe springtime storms wreaked havoc, producing tornadoes and other severe weather.
This book is quite insightful when it comes to the humanity of such a horrible disaster. It gives the reader a glimpse of the past and what has changed (and what hasn't) over the last 100 or so years when it comes to how man handles natural disasters.
I recommend this book to anyone interested in American history and/or is a weather geek like me.
Previous reviewers are troubled by the author's style of presentation. In that he presents many locales and goes from one to the other. However, he correctly tells us early in the narrative, that although all floods are seen and remembered as local. Particularly when there was no real national media; that this disaster was indeed national in nature. The presentation is such that it is as if you were sitting in FEMA center with reports coming in from areas able to report and silence from most others. The silence of course represents what became and always becomes the reconstructed tragedy.
Trying to imagine an entire week of surging waters, never-ending rain, pitiless cold, and lives without communication or
refrigeration would have been beyond me. But thanks to Mr. Williams, it all became Reality. This is a genuine page-turning
history, which gets tied into today in many facets. Highly recommended.
The author gives the reader hundreds of vignettes of the flood from a close-up perspective people in 1913 faced. Though he focuses on Dayton, Ohio, he includes many episodes from other Ohio towns such as Zenia and Columbus as well as towns in Indiana such as Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, and Peru.
The author gives the reader the intimate portraits of the victims, the rescuers, the press and the bystanders. One important person in Dayton was James Patterson, founder of NCR (and, recently convicted of anti-trust laws) who saw what was happening and, immediately, set his factory up as a refugee center as well as setting his factory to the task of building boats. Patterson showed himself a community benefactor in Dayton.
There are so many tales of miraculous rescues and, on the other side, heart-breaking deaths that the reader will get an real feel for what it was like in areas that were in the path of the flood. Men worked tirelessly to save their neighbors and fellow residents. I was shocked by the number of people who died bravely trying to save others though their chances were obviously slim.
It's a good read, but my criticism would be that there's no higher-level description of the event that was much larger than the vignettes show. There are no maps showing the extent of the floods and the view is very narrow and small. I would have liked to have seen the big picture laid out for the reader.
On the whole, though, this is a very good book on one of those iconic disasters that has, unfortunately, been forgotten. I enjoyed the read and I recommend it with four stars.
The entire country was affected by this catastrophic weather event.