Disaster!: A History of Earthquakes, Floods, Plagues, and Other Catastrophes

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Skyhorse Publishing Inc., Feb 16, 2010 - History - 391 pages
3 Reviews
Tune into the news today, and one would think that human beings were at risk of being wiped from the face of the earth—by tsunamis, earthquakes, swine flu, or terrorism. One could be forgiven for thinking that we are in far more danger today than ever before. The fact of the matter is that danger has always stalked mankind. From ancient volcanoes and floods to the cholera and small pox, to Hitler and Stalin's genocidal murders during the twentieth century, our continued existence has always seemed perilous.

Now, out of our horror comes an entertaining and epic journal through the history of disaster. Disaster! offers perspective on today's fears by revealing how dangerous our world has always been. Natural disasters and man-made catastrophes mark every era. Here is the Black Death that killed seventy-five million in Europe and Asia during the 1300s; the 1883 volcanic eruption on Krakatoa; the Irish potato famine of the mid-nineteenth century; the Nazi Holocaust; the 1970 storm in Bangladesh, now considered the deadliest in history; and more. Train crashes, air disasters, and shipwrecks litter human history.

Sure to scare, inform, and entertain, Disaster! is a book of serious history that is as much fun as any horror film.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MiaCulpa - LibraryThing

A wide-ranging and enjoyable (if that's the word to use when reading a book about human suffering) book on the major disasters that have affected humans. In a broad sweep of history, we read of the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - debherter - LibraryThing

This is an excellent collection of narratives describing disasters, some historical and some within recent memory. The only criticism I would mention is that the author seems not to have anticipated ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

VOLCANOES
3
EARTHQUAKES
29
TSUNAMIS
45
FLOODS
56
STORMS
76
OTHER EXTREME WEATHER A MYSTERIOUS POISONING
91
PLAGUES
102
OTHER DISEASES
123
REBELLIONS RIOTS TERRORISM
246
FIRES
276
EXPLOSIONS MASS POISONINGS
298
STAMPEDES COLLAPSES MASS PANICS
316
SHIPWRECKS
324
TRAIN CRASHES
348
AIR CRASHES
356
OTHER TRANSPORT DISASTERS
367

FAMINE
145
WAR AND INVASION
171
MURDER BY THE STATE
205

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About the author (2010)

John Withington is the author of The Disastrous History of London and produces television documentaries. He lives in London.

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