October 01, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane In History

Current Status
In Season
Erik Larson
History, Nonfiction, Nature
We gave it an A

The Sept. 8, 1900, hurricane that killed more than 8,000 people in Galveston, Tex., was this country’s deadliest, tallying more casualties than the Johnstown flood and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake combined. Larson (Lethal Passage) has written a near-perfect account of the storm and its utter destruction of the sophisticated, wealthy city dubbed ”the New York of the Gulf.” At once a chilling disaster tale enlivened by survivors’ accounts, this is also the tragedy of Isaac Cline, the brilliant meteorologist ruined by his failure to forecast the storm’s severity, set amid turn-of-the-century arrogance about man’s ability to control nature. Isaac’s Storm: a Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History‘s a tale just as thrilling and heartbreaking as the sinking of the Titanic.

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