Ruthless Tide : The Heroes and Villians of the Johnstown Flood, America's Astonishing Gilded Age Disaster
by Roker, Al







Map: "Bird's-Eye View of the Conemaugh Valley"
viii
Prologue: "Mr. Quinn Is Too Fearful"1(20)
PART I MEMBERS AND NONMEMRERS
1 Up on the Mountain
21(20)
2 Down in the Valley
41(24)
3 How to Make a Lake
65(18)
4 "No Danger from Our Enterprise"
83(16)
5 Rain
99(18)
PART II WHEN THE DAM BROKE
6 Tap-Tap-Tap
117(14)
7 A Monster Unchained
131(14)
8 Cauldron
145(18)
9 The Night of the Johnstown Flood
163(14)
10 Alone in the World
177(20)
PART III JUSTICE AND CHARITY
11 Some Convulsion
197(20)
12 Poor, Lone Woman
217(18)
13 Frozen with Fear
235(12)
14 Strict Liability
247(16)
Epilogue: Song and Story263(16)
Acknowledgments279(2)
A Note on Sources and Further Reading281(4)
Bibliography285(8)
Index293


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.





On May 31, 1889, the South Fork Dam on the Little Conemaugh River above Johnstown, Pennsylvania, burst open after a heavy rainfall, flooding the town and killing more than 2,200 people. Celebrated NBC weatherman and author Roker follows his highly praised The Storm of the Century (2015) with an equally riveting account of the Johnstown Flood, which still remains the deadliest natural disaster on American soil. Despite the obvious contribution of bad weather to the tragedy, Roker emphasizes early on that much of the blame for the dam's failure rested with steel-industry titans like Andrew Carnegie, whose nearby soil-eroding logging business and unsafe civil-engineering practices made the rupture almost inevitable. In addition to profiling Carnegie and his wealthy cronies, who built the dam for a mountain-lake resort, Roker describes Red Cross founder Clara Barton's efforts to lead a heroic relief operation as well as the fate of several local citizens caught up in the chaos. Roker turns in another informative, solidly written weather-related page-turner sure to please his fans. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.





The ebullient weather personality from NBC's Today show returns with a flood account that is both intimate and alert to the wealth and class distinctions highlighted by the 1889 Johnstown Flood. Roker, who wrote about a 1900 hurricane (The Storm of the Century, 2015, etc.), has some sizable footsteps to follow in this one—David McCullough's 1968 The Johnstown Flood—but he fills them nicely in this fresh account of the Pennsylvania dam break that destroyed Johnstown and killed more than 2,000 people. Roker is especially adept at focusing on key individuals—residents, politicians, movers and shakers, rescue workers—and letting their stories represent the myriads of others. One harrowing tale involves the improbable rescue of a little girl in the swirling torrent that struck the town during a heavy rain when a dam, 14 miles away (and above the town), broke and sent millions of tons of water surging down into Johnstown and some small communities that lay i n the torrent's path. The author is also very alert to the class issues that underlay it all. The earthen dam formed a lake for some very wealthy citizens (among them, Andrew Carnegie), who, of course, denied responsibility afterward. Roker notes that only 35 of the 60 members of this wealthy-person's club contributed to the relief fund. The author also goes into detail—sometimes too much—about some of the individuals involved: Carnegie, Clara Barton (whose Red Cross would swell in public awareness afterward), and numerous others. He points out some inconsistencies in American thought, as well—about how, for instance, we are quick to help people suffering in a natural disaster but not suffering from everyday poverty and disease. He also discusses some of the nasty anti-immigrant feelings that emerged during the cleanup. An exciting, tragic story seasoned with sensitive social analysis and criticism. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






Terms of Use   ©Copyright 2018 Follett School Solutions