The Storm That Obliterated a City

Book Review by Fleurette Pierre

THESE ARE THE THINGS I WAS MOST IMPRESSED WITH:

Where the hurricane went when it left Galveston and its seriousness showing how wrong the weather bureau was.

The muzzling of the Cubans: How selfish bureaucrats put personal prejudices and ambitions before public safety and how some were manipulated by them. How the Cubans must have felt the 24-36 hours after the hurricane left Cuba being unable to warn those in Galveston. All the while the hurricane was intensifying. At that point, Cubans were the only ones who could have helped them because of their knowledge of hurricanes.

Myths, Misunderstandings and Outright lies about owning Gold. Are you at risk?

When the head of the bureau was fired. Hurray for ISAAC. I forgave him for everything.

The tragic situation between ISAAC and Joseph.

The loyal and brave golden retriever who went back to save others!

The tedious, thrilling research done and painstaking reconstruction by Erik Larson.

The location of Mrs. Cline’s body when found after the hurricane.

The irony of fateful timing or good fortune involving those who either arrived in GALVESTON just before or left.

The death toll.

Book Review By Chauvesouris

I don’t need to repeat the story-line here as other reviewers have done so. All I can add is that this book, especially when it gets to the storm itself and its incredible impact, held me spellbound. Larson is brilliant at presenting history as it can be: remarkable stories that are not a long list of “name/place/date” but an exploration of situation, connections, character, emotion, outcomes – fact, not fiction, with sources noted, of course – that draw one in and keep one immersed through to end.

After reading a “history” by another author (different subject entirely) I longed for Larson’s exploration of same, knowing that I would care more, remember more, and understand the connections that drive events more than the endless drivel of who begat whom, etc.(often only good for source material, it seems). Imagine what Larson’s writings on the French Revolution, St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, the Boer War – oh, anything – would be. He takes an event and builds the world around that event – and one leaves his arena with a deeper understanding of the world he explores than few others can or do provide.

Reprinted from Amazon.com.

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