Ruthless Tide: The Heroes and Villains of the Johnstown Flood, America’s Astonishing Gilded Age Disaster
This book is a fascinating reading, based on exhaustive research, that many readers will enjoy. Ruthless Tide by Al Roker is about one of the worst disasters in American history, triggered by both natural and man-made causes. The year was 1889, and a flood resulting from the failure of a defective dam following prolonged torrents of rain destroyed the entire valley around Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The town was the site of the world’s largest iron and steel operation. Though floods were common in the valley, this was of biblical proportions. Roker starts off with a long prologue, giving a summary of the flood, partly through the eyes of six-year-old Gertrude Quinn. The lake held back by the dam was private, held by an organization full of the rich and famous, both from Pittsburgh and locally, called South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club. During consequent chapters, Roker gives a detailed history of many members of this club, starting with one of the wealthiest men of the world, Andrew Carnegie, and his story of rags to riches. In further chapters, we read about many of the townspeople and their stories of how they survived and did not survive the disaster and of the eventual relief and cleanup efforts.
|Page Count||305 pages|
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