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David Laskin

Forfatter af The Children's Blizzard

17 Works 2,412 Members 100 Reviews

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David Laskin's writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Preservation, and Smithsonian. He lives in Seattle

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Kanonisk navn
Laskin, David
New York, New York, USA
Seattle, Washington, USA
Harvard (B.A.)
Oxford University (M.A.|Literature)
Kort biografi
A lifelong weather enthusiast and a student of history and literature, David Laskin has written a number of nonfiction books about weather history, American writers, artists, gardens, and travel.



I read this book just as Winter storm Elliott was blowing through the upper 48 in December 2022 and found numerous points that are still relevant today. In 1888 there was apparently not a very reliable weather forecasting system and since information was "telegraphed" and given to the area via flag signals. The forecasts at the time were under the control of the Army Signal Corps and it seems that they had qualified staffing shortages (does this sound familiar?) and those that gave the indications, not forecasts, had to wait for approval before notifications were sent out. AH, bureaucracy even over 100 years ago they were trying to cover their butts.

The blizzard hit the Great Plains suddenly on an unseasonably warm day so that many of the children were unprepared for the abrupt frigid temperatures. Teachers were undecided as to whether to keep the children at a school or send them home in the storm. Those that kept the children had roofs blown off, windows broken, and heating fuel exhausted while those children sent home often became lost in the whiteout and ended up either frozen to death or with severe frostbite.

Sometimes I laugh at the schools nowadays that shut down at the mere mention of a few inches of snow in our area but with this story I now see that discretion is the better part of valour.
… (mere)
cyderry | 75 andre anmeldelser | Dec 29, 2022 |
I applaud the effort it took to weave a story of multiple accounts of the devastating impact this blizzard had on the lives of those that experienced it into a full-length book. However, *all* the accounts are of white settlers - apparently, the blizzard sidestepped any and all of the native americans that lived in the region. It would have been nice to learn how the native experience compared...or, at the very least, have a paragraph or two about why native americans weren't included so it doesn't seem like they were omitted on purpose.… (mere)
widdershinns | 75 andre anmeldelser | Dec 4, 2022 |
Reading on the recommendation of a friend.
mattorsara | 75 andre anmeldelser | Aug 11, 2022 |
This well written account of the devastating and deadly storm that overran the Great Plains on January 12, 1888 chronicles the event with painstaking details. The author explains that the Army Signal Corps, following strict regulations, gave indications, not forecasts, of the weather. No National Weather Bureau existed, and no personal forecasts were allowed. He further explains how the frigid Canadian air collided with the warm gulf streams, and together created the massive front that inundated the plains. No warning was given for this sudden storm. Indeed, there was no way to get word to all the outlying farms even if a warning had been issued. The author goes on to explain how the pulverized snow and ice crystals coated clothes and skin and froze on eyelids and made even breathing difficult, if not impossible. Animals froze where they stood and suffocated. But worse by far was the fate of the children. The storm struck as many schools were closing for the day. Caught unawares, some teachers told their student to hurry home as quickly as possible. But many got lost on the way. Other teachers kept students in the the schools, only to have windows blown in, roofs blown off, and fuel exhausted. Because the day had started out warm for January, most of the kids were ill dressed for winter’s worst, without heavy coats, boots, scarfs, and mittens. The author writes about several of the doomed children, of the teacher who got her class to safety, of the people who sheltered as best as they could under hay stacks, and of those who survived the night, only to drop dead the next day. He also writes of the aftermath, of the amputations and the infections that claimed more lives. Reading like a novel but including the well researched details that explains the entirety of the blizzard, this nonfiction book is rich with the history of that time period in the Great Plains. Highly recommended.… (mere)
Maydacat | 75 andre anmeldelser | Aug 6, 2022 |



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