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Isaac's storm : a man, a time, and the deadliest hurricane in history / Erik Larson.

Larson, Erik. (Author). Cline, Isaac Monroe, 1861-1955 (Added Author).

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Town of Hanover Libraries.

Current holds

0 current holds with 1 total copy.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Howe Library 976.4 LAR 31254003065634 Lower level Available -

Record details

  • ISBN: 0609602330 (Hardback), 9780375708275 (paperback)
  • Physical Description: 323 p. : maps ; 24 cm.
  • Edition: 1st ed.
  • Publisher: New York : Crown Publishers, c1999.

Content descriptions

General Note:
Based on the diaries of Isaac Monroe Cline and on contemporary accounts.
Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (p. 307-313) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Beach: September 8, 1900 -- ch. 1. Law of storms -- ch. 2. Serpent's coil -- ch. 3. Spectacle -- ch. 4. Cataclysm -- ch. 5. Strange news -- ch. 6. Haunted.
Subject: Galveston (Tex.) > History > 20th century.
Hurricanes > Texas > Galveston > History > 20th century.
Floods > Texas > Galveston > History > 20th century.
Cline, Isaac Monroe, 1861-1955.
Galveston (Tex.) > Biography.

Syndetic Solutions - Publishers Weekly Review for ISBN Number 0609602330
Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History
Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History
by Larson, Erik
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Publishers Weekly Review

Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History

Publishers Weekly


(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Torqued by drama and taut with suspense, this absorbing narrative of the 1900 hurricane that inundated Galveston, Tex., conveys the sudden, cruel power of the deadliest natural disaster in American history. Told largely from the perspective of Isaac Cline, the senior U.S. Weather Bureau official in Galveston at the time, the story considers an era when "the hubris of men led them to believe they could disregard even nature itself." As barometers plummet and wind gauges are plucked from their moorings, Larson (Lethal Passage) cuts cinematically from the eerie "eyewall" of the hurricane to the mundane hubbub of a lunchroom moments before it capitulates to the arriving winds, from the neat pirouette of Cline's house amid rising waters to the bridge of the steamship Pensacola, tossed like flotsam on the roiling seas. Most intriguingly, Larson details the mistakes that led bureau officials to dismiss warnings about the storm, which killed over 6000 and destroyed a third of the island city. The government's weather forecasting arm registered not only temperature and humidity but also political climate, civic boosterism and even sibling rivalries. America's patronizing stance toward Cuba, for instance, shut down forecasts from Cuban meteorologists, who had accurately predicted the Galveston storm's course and true scale, even as U.S. weather officials issued mollifying bulletins calling for mere rain and high winds. Larson expertly captures the power of the storm itself and the ironic, often catastrophic consequences of the unpredictable intersection of natural force and human choice. Major ad/promo; author tour; simultaneous Random House audio; foreign rights sold in Germany, Holland, Italy, Japan and the U.K. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Syndetic Solutions - CHOICE_Magazine Review for ISBN Number 0609602330
Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History
Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History
by Larson, Erik
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CHOICE_Magazine Review

Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History

CHOICE


Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

Fascinating yet ominous, Larson's book reads as if it were a firsthand account of the deadliest storm to hit the US. (The world has experienced worse storms, many near the Bay of Bengal and also in China and Japan, but this book offers a historically based account of what it must have been like to be in the very middle of a storm.) Larson begins with a basic meteorological account, sprinkled with the history of weather service, an account of past disasters, and the biography of Isaac Cline, the person in charge of the weather office in Galveston during the 1900 hurricane. A riveting book, with appalling accounts of the approaching storm and its subsequent effects, it draws the reader into the excitement and fears experienced during a life-threatening event. The account emphasizes that water is a bigger threat than wind, although pieces of debris flying at more than 100 miles per hour (wind velocity devices ceased to work above 100 mph) kept people from seeking safer havens. Any coastal residents who take this book to heart would certainly evacuate when a storm is imminent; everyone should have a plan for safety from every type of emergency. Recommended for everyone. A. E. Staver; Northern Illinois University

Syndetic Solutions - Library Journal Review for ISBN Number 0609602330
Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History
Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History
by Larson, Erik
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Library Journal Review

Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History

Library Journal


(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

On September 8, 1900, the seaside town of Galveston, TX, was struck by a storm so severe that over 8000 people perished, making it the greatest natural disaster in U.S. history. Forecasters in Cuba warned U.S. Weather Bureau officials of the approaching hurricane; why weren't they listening? As in his other works (e.g., Lethal Passage: The Story of a Gun), Larson delves deeply into this tragedy by combining scientific research and social commentary with the personalized anecdotes of survivors. The narrative focuses on Isaac Cline (hence the title), an early professional weatherman based in Galveston who discounted the strength of the coming storm and endured great personal loss once it struck. Scientists and historians alike will find interest in this text, which depicts early techniques of meteorological research with the related conflicts between governmental agencies as well as insight into the overall societal values of the era. General readers will be compelled to continue as Larson reveals in heartbreaking details the storm's devastation: homes destroyed by ocean water driven by 200-mile-an-hour gusts of wind; men struggling to save their families while others pushed children away from protective shelter in order to save themselves; and, finally, the survivors frantically searching for their loved ones among the corpses buried in mud. This unforgettable work is highly recommended for both public and academic libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/99.]ÄTrisha Stevenson, New York Univ. Medical Ctr. Sch. of Medicine Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Syndetic Solutions - Kirkus Review for ISBN Number 0609602330
Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History
Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History
by Larson, Erik
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Kirkus Review

Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History

Kirkus Reviews


Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

There is bad weather, and there are 100-year storms. Then there are meteorological events. In September 1900, one of the latter visited Galveston, Tex., and ate the city alive. Larson tells the story with (at times overnourished) brio. The Isaac in Larson's (Lethal Passage: How the Travels of a Single Handgun Expose the Roots of America's Gun Crisis, 1994) title is Isaac Cline: head meteorologist of the Galveston station of the US Weather Bureau in 1900, a man who thought he had the drop on weather systems because he had data, and from data he could predict the meteorological future. But, as Larson shows, from Philo of Byzantium in 300 b.c. to the talking weatherheads of today, forecasting the weather has always been a "black and dangerous art." When Cline blithely stated that Galveston's vulnerability to extreme weather was "an absurd delusion," he was inviting trouble, and it came calling. A series of administrative snafus and ignored warnings from Cuba found the city unprepared for the monster rogue hurricane. The air turned wild and gray, a storm surge swept over the city, the wind became "a thousands little devils, shrieking and whistling," said a survivor. It is now thought to have topped 150 mph. "Slate fractured skulls and removed limbs. Venomous snakes spiraled upward into trees occupied by people. A rocket of timber killed a horse in mid-gallop." It's estimated that 8,000 people died, and Cline was not decorated for his brilliant forecasting by a grateful city government. Larson paints a withering portrait of the early Weather Bureau and offers a wild and woolly reconstruction of the storm, full of gripping anecdotal accounts told with flair, even if he overplays the portents, sapping their menace and turning them into a melodrama most often accompanied by trembling piano keys. Cline saw himself as "a scientist, not some farmer who gauged the weather by aches in his rheumatoid knee." He should have listened to his bones. Larson captures his ignominy, and the storm in its fury. (Author tour) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Syndetic Solutions - BookList Review for ISBN Number 0609602330
Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History
Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History
by Larson, Erik
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BookList Review

Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History

Booklist


From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.

This engrossing disaster book concerns the Galveston hurricane of 1900, still by far the high-water mark in American natural catastrophes. Like the Johnstown Flood that occurred 10 years earlier (see David McCullough's Johnstown Flood, 1987), nature's wrath was mightily aided by man's obliviousness. Larson highlights two central actors in the drama: the hurricane itself, beginning with its origin in Saharan westerly winds, and Isaac Cline, the Weather Bureau's sentinel in Galveston. Setting the stage, Larson depicts a wealthy, optimistic Galveston, unconcerned by its site on a barrier island scant feet above sea level, blithely ignorant of the storm heading its way. En route to destiny, the hurricane previously walloped Cuba, but a Cuban forecaster's intuitive prediction that Texas was the next landfall was not permitted to be telegraphed out by the Weather Bureau's man in Havana. Skeptical of intuition, he believed in meteorological facts, which convinced him the storm was fizzling out east of Florida. For the main act, Larson reconstructs Isaac Cline's day on 8 September 1900 and ratchets up the tension as clouds gather, the effective device being the sequence of perceptions that disaster was inescapable. Were the rolling waves worrisome? If not, the splintering of the boardwalk concentrated Galvestonians' attention--but, by then, the single railroad out was cut. A further mark of Larson's depth as a writer is his ambivalence about Cline, who may not have acted as heroically as depicted in his own memoir. Although the subject is grim, this telling is a deftly told fable of folly and fate. --Gilbert Taylor

Syndetic Solutions - School Library Journal Review for ISBN Number 0609602330
Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History
Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History
by Larson, Erik
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School Library Journal Review

Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History

School Library Journal


(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

YA-Larson has brought together powerful elements to create one of the most memorable of the "natural disaster" docudramas that have come out recently. Meteorologists within the U.S. Weather Bureau at the turn of the 20th century had become so confident of their own forecasting abilities that they dismissed with irritation troubling weather reports out of Cuba. In a burgeoning port city like Galveston, TX, in 1900, the idea that severe damage could be done by a hurricane seemed preposterous. Following several threads at once, Larson creates a likable character in the real-life weatherman Isaac Cline, tracing his career as a meteorologist. A tropical depression takes on an ominous life of its own as it thrashes its way through the Caribbean and up through the Gulf of Mexico. The town of Galveston becomes one of the major characters in the story. Poignant details and sweeping narrative create a book that is hard to put down even though the outcome is a well-known historical fact: more than 6000 dead and an entire city devastated. At the same time, Larson chronicles a critical period of history for the National Weather Bureau. The blatant errors in judgment led to changes within that federal agency. More than anything, this is a gripping and heartbreaking story of what happens when arrogance meets the immutable forces of nature.-Cynthia J. Rieben, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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