The Johnstown Flood Author:David McCullough At the end of the last century, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was a booming coal-and-steel town filled with hardworking families striving for a piece of the nation's burgeoning industrial prosperity. In the mountains above Johnstown, an old earth dam had been hastily rebuilt to create a lake for an exclusive summer resort patronized by the tycoon... more »s of that same industrial prosperity, among them Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Mellon. Despite repeated warnings of possible danger, nothing was done about the dam. Then came May 31, 1889, when the dam burst, sending a wall of water thundering down the mountain, smashing through Johnstown, and killing more than 2,000 people. It was a tragedy that became a national scandal.
Graced by David McCullough's remarkable gift for writing richly textured, sympathetic social history, The Johnstown Flood is an absorbing, classic portrait of life in nineteenth-century America, of overweening confidence, of energy, and of tragedy. It also offers a powerful historical lesson for our century and all times: the danger of assuming that because people are in positions of responsibility they are necessarily behaving responsibly.« less
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A very well written book regarding the biggest natural disaster in American history. It could have been a fictional novel the way it is written and the immense tragedy that bestowed the people of Johnstown PA. It is certainly more interesting if you are familar with the area. A good non fiction read.
I read this book for one of my book clubs.I learned a lot about this town and the flood that happened.I still think about this book even though I read it a while ago.It was very informative and I couldn't put the book down.I never knew that much about the flood until I read this book.I highly recommend it.It also gives you history on the town also and the people who lived there.
Great book for any American history buff. The lives of the famous (Andrew Carnegie and Clara Barton) and not famous are richly related and will keep you wanting to discover their fate. The heroism is detailed and some myths debunked. It's a terrific read not only for the history lover but for anyone who enjoys a good novel.