Ghosts of Vesuvius: A New Look at the Last Days of Pompeii, How Towers Fall, and Other Strange Connections

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Harper Collins, Aug 10, 2004 - History - 489 pages
18 Reviews

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79 and the subsequent destruction of the thriving Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum are historic disasters of monumental proportions, resonating across millennia and remembered to this very day. Now Dr. Charles Pellegrino -- the acclaimed author who unearthed Atlantis, returned readers to Sodom and Gomorrah, and revealed startling new secrets about the most fabled sea tragedy of all in his superb New York Times bestseller Her Name, Titanic -- takes us back to the final days of an extraordinary civilization to experience an earth-shattering catastrophe with remarkable and unsettling ties to the unthinkable disaster of September 11, 2001.

Through the modern wonders of forensic archaeology, astonishing facts about the everyday lives of the doomed citizens of Pompeii and Herculaneum have been brought to light, revealing a society that enjoyed "modern" amenities such as central heating, sliding glass doors, penicillin, hot and cold running water -- and a standard of living and life expectancy that would not be achieved again until the 1950s. But these thriving twin cities would be buried along with every hapless citizen in less than twenty-four hours when Vesuvius came frighteningly alive, sending a fearsome column of smoke and fire twenty miles into the sky.

Employing volcano physics, Pellegrino shows that the Vesuvius eruption was one thousand times more powerful than the bomb that leveled Hiroshima, bringing to vivid life the frightful majesty of that volcanic apocalypse. Yet Pellegrino digs deeper, exploring fascinating comparisons and connections to other catastrophic events throughout history, in particular the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. As one of the world's only experts on downblast and surge physics, Pellegrino was invited to Ground Zero to examine the site and compare it with devastation wreaked by Vesuvius, in the hope of saving lives during future volcanic eruptions. In doing so, he offers us a poignant and unforgettable glimpse into the final moments of our own "American Vesuvius."

A stunning combination of science, history, humanity, and riveting storytelling, Charles Pellegrino's Ghosts of Vesuvius is an extraordinary accomplishment, an electrifying, edifying, astonishing, and powerful work of literary art.

  

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Review: Ghosts of Vesuvius

User Review  - William - Goodreads

Filled with interesting information but requires a better editor. Read full review

Review: Ghosts of Vesuvius

User Review  - Steve S - Goodreads

Everyone should read this book. Best I have read in years Read full review

Contents

In the Beginning
3
The Gods Themselves
19
The Coevolution of Volcanoes and Life
36
Then Listen Josephus for I Digress
128
Spartacus at Vesuvius
147
Cities in Amber
169
The Day After
239
Threads
260
Testament
294
Vesuvius in New York
382
Acknowledgments
457
Selected Bibliography
463
Copyright

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Page 3 - And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud ; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.
Page 25 - And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.
Page 25 - And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth : and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
Page 39 - Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun ? One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh : but the earth abideth for ever.
Page 218 - And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea ; and the third part of the sea became blood : 9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died ; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
Page 31 - And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.
Page 31 - And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood...
Page 24 - For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
Page 25 - ... and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. 8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea ; and the third part of the sea became blood...
Page 290 - Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you : and ye shall be hated of all nations for ^my name's sake.

About the author (2004)

Charles Pellegrino has been known to work simultaneously in entomology, forensic physics, paleo-genetics, preliminary design of advanced rocket systems, astrobiology, and marine archaeology. The author of eighteen books of fiction and nonfiction, including Unearthing Atlantis, Dust, Ghosts of the Titanic, and the New York Times bestseller Her Name, Titanic, he is the scientist whose dinosaur-cloning recipe inspired Michael Crichton's bestselling novel Jurassic Park. Dr. Pellegrino lives in New York City.

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