Synopses & Reviews
On the morning of April 18, 1906, an earthquake measuring 8.3 on the Richter scale ripped through sleeping San Francisco. At the Palace Hotel, opera star Enrico Caruso fled, half dressed, into the street; John Barrymore searched through the chaos for a bar where he could get a whiskey; orphans screamed for parents crushed to death in their beds. Drawing on contemporary reports and eye-witness accounts, Dan Kurzman captures the fear and madness that raged through a city reduced to rubble. But in this breathtaking pastiche of real-life tragedies, the author also records acts of extraordinary courage. As many as 10,000 people died in the quake and fires that followed, yet the rugged populace refused to quit the city, vowing instead to resurrect it from the ashes. Now, the past comes alive again in this unforgettable history, a masterful account of nature at its worst...and indomitable American spirit at its best.
The George Polk Memorial Award-winning historian investigates the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, bringing to life this horrible natural disaster--registering 8.3 on the Richter scale--and the subsequent fire that raged through the rubble killing ten thousand people. Reprint.
On the morning of April 18, 1906, the citizens of San Francisco woke to find their world literally crumbling, as an earthquake measuring 8.3 on the Richter scale turned their homes to rubble and ignited fires that nearly consumed what was left of the city. Up to 10,000 people a gifure unreported until now died in the catastophe. Dan Kurzman presents a terrifying, page-turning glimpse into the surreal world of San Francisco during the disaster, told through the impeccably researched stories of it survivors. From the city s demolished tenements and charred mansions to the merciless and little-known military dictatorship installed in the midst of the chaos, Disaster! brings to life this unparalleled event and its lingering effects.
About the Author
Dan Kurzman, a former Washington Post correspondent, is the author of fourteen books and the winner of five literary and journalistic awards: The George Polk Memorial Award; the National Jewish Award; the Newspaper Guild's Front Page Award; and, twice, the Cornelius Ryan Award for the year's best book on foreign affairs. Kurzman is a native of San Francisco and now makes his home in New Jersey.