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Ruthless Tide: The Heroes and Villains of The Johnstown Flood, America's… (2018)

af Al Roker

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643323,137 (4.31)1
Presents a narrative history of the 1889 Johnstown Flood to chronicle key events, the damage that rendered the flood one of America's worst disasters, and the pivotal contributions of key figures, from dam engineer John Parke to American Red Cross founder Clara Barton."A gripping new history celebrating the remarkable heroes of the Johnstown Flood--the deadliest flood in U.S. history--from NBC host and legendary weather authority Al Roker. Central Pennsylvania, May 31, 1889: After a deluge of rain--nearly a foot in less than twenty-four hours--swelled the Little Conemaugh River, panicked engineers watched helplessly as swiftly rising waters threatened to breach the South Fork dam, built to create a private lake for a fishing and hunting club that counted among its members Andrew Mellon, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Carnegie. Though the engineers telegraphed neighboring towns on this last morning in May warning of the impending danger, residents--factory workers and their families--remained in their homes, having grown used to false alarms. At 3:10 P.M., the dam gave way, releasing 20 million tons of water. Gathering speed as it flowed southwest, the deluge wiped out nearly everything in its path and picked up debris--trees, houses, animals--before reaching Johnstown, a vibrant steel town fourteen miles downstream. Traveling 40 miles an hour, with swells as high as 60 feet, the deadly floodwaters razed the mill town--home to 20,000 people--in minutes. The Great Flood, as it would come to be called, remains the deadliest in US history, killing more than 2,200 people and causing $17 million in damage. In Ruthless Tide, Al Roker follows an unforgettable cast of characters whose fates converged because of that tragic day, including John Parke, the engineer whose heroic efforts failed to save the dam; the robber barons whose fancy sport fishing resort was responsible for modifications that weakened the dam; and Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross, who spent five months in Johnstown leading one of the first organized disaster relief efforts in the United States. Weaving together their stories and those of many ordinary citizens whose lives were forever altered by the event, Ruthless Tide is testament to the power of the human spirit in times of tragedy and also a timely warning about the dangers of greed, inequality, neglected infrastructure, and the ferocious, uncontrollable power of nature."--Jacket.… (mere)
Nyligt tilføjet afprivat bibliotek, dvnmng, jeni1543, SunnysideCC, Chica3000, tglen23, FlaglerBeachLibrary, clio21000
  1. 00
    The Johnstown Flood af David McCullough (Anonym bruger)
    Anonym bruger: One reviewer on Goodreads claimed that both books are similar with Roker's focusing a bit more of the members of the South Fork club than McCullough does.
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Written by NBC Weatherman, Al Roker, this book is an account of the event that took place on May 31, 1889 when the dam creating the lake at the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club about five hundred feet above and miles away from Johnstown, PA broke causing the destruction of the industrial city of Johnstown. The club was a secret subscription club owned by rich businessmen from Pittsburgh, PA. The disaster is usually remembered as The Johnstown Flood. The club and it's members were never held accountalble for the death and destruction caused by the faulty construction of the dam. There are many similarities between this story and some of the environmental issues we still face today. Then book reads like a novel, with many first person accounts. ( )
  MrDickie | Mar 4, 2019 |
I listened to this as an audiobook and while it was interesting, some of the discs in the set I borrowed skipped frequently. I grew up hearing about the Johnstown Flood, but for some reason, I never registered what year it took place--so I was surprised that it was in 1889--for some reason I thought it has been in the first few decades of the 1900s. I did learn more of the history surrounding the flood than I remembered from other accounts I'd heard or read. That may not be surprising as I've found myself more interested in history now than I was during my schooling.

Since Hurricane Katrina, I've wondered why people would want to place a city in an area that could flood if levees or dams break. Johnstown was in a similar position, though I don't think it was in such a precarious position when it was first settled. It seems that the Industrial Age waste dumping (pre-regulations) and the rich men's desire to make the area a resort destination complete with stocked fishing lake created by a dam, changed the topography of the area and made it more likely for flooding to occur (due to river narrowing) and when the dam failed and released all the water that had been pent up for the lake into the already flooding river--well . . . you have The Johnstown Flood. ( )
  JenniferRobb | Oct 12, 2018 |
Al Roker did a good job in describing the horror of a disaster that was part God and part human error. Having read an historical fiction on this event before, I wasn't completely surprised, but got more information than I previously knew. ( )
  eliorajoy | Jun 8, 2018 |
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Presents a narrative history of the 1889 Johnstown Flood to chronicle key events, the damage that rendered the flood one of America's worst disasters, and the pivotal contributions of key figures, from dam engineer John Parke to American Red Cross founder Clara Barton."A gripping new history celebrating the remarkable heroes of the Johnstown Flood--the deadliest flood in U.S. history--from NBC host and legendary weather authority Al Roker. Central Pennsylvania, May 31, 1889: After a deluge of rain--nearly a foot in less than twenty-four hours--swelled the Little Conemaugh River, panicked engineers watched helplessly as swiftly rising waters threatened to breach the South Fork dam, built to create a private lake for a fishing and hunting club that counted among its members Andrew Mellon, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Carnegie. Though the engineers telegraphed neighboring towns on this last morning in May warning of the impending danger, residents--factory workers and their families--remained in their homes, having grown used to false alarms. At 3:10 P.M., the dam gave way, releasing 20 million tons of water. Gathering speed as it flowed southwest, the deluge wiped out nearly everything in its path and picked up debris--trees, houses, animals--before reaching Johnstown, a vibrant steel town fourteen miles downstream. Traveling 40 miles an hour, with swells as high as 60 feet, the deadly floodwaters razed the mill town--home to 20,000 people--in minutes. The Great Flood, as it would come to be called, remains the deadliest in US history, killing more than 2,200 people and causing $17 million in damage. In Ruthless Tide, Al Roker follows an unforgettable cast of characters whose fates converged because of that tragic day, including John Parke, the engineer whose heroic efforts failed to save the dam; the robber barons whose fancy sport fishing resort was responsible for modifications that weakened the dam; and Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross, who spent five months in Johnstown leading one of the first organized disaster relief efforts in the United States. Weaving together their stories and those of many ordinary citizens whose lives were forever altered by the event, Ruthless Tide is testament to the power of the human spirit in times of tragedy and also a timely warning about the dangers of greed, inequality, neglected infrastructure, and the ferocious, uncontrollable power of nature."--Jacket.

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