The Johnstown Flood

The Johnstown Flood

David McCullough

the lovely tale of 1 of America’s nice failures, a preventable tragedy of Gilded Age the USA, brilliantly advised by means of grasp historian David McCullough.

At the tip of the 19th century, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, used to be a booming coal-and-steel city jam-packed with hardworking households striving for a bit of the nation’s burgeoning commercial prosperity. within the mountains above Johnstown, an outdated earth dam have been swiftly rebuilt to create a lake for an particular summer time lodge patronized by way of the tycoons of that very same commercial prosperity, between them Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Mellon. regardless of repeated warnings of attainable probability, not anything used to be performed in regards to the dam. Then got here may possibly 31, 1889, while the dam burst, sending a wall of water thundering down the mountain, smashing via Johnstown, and killing greater than 2,000 humans. It used to be a tragedy that grew to become a countrywide scandal.

Graced through David McCullough’s extraordinary present for writing richly textured, sympathetic social historical past, The Johnstown Flood is an soaking up, vintage portrait of existence in nineteenth-century the United States, of overweening self assurance, of strength, and of tragedy. It additionally bargains a strong historic lesson for our century and all occasions: the chance of assuming that simply because everyone is in positions of accountability they're unavoidably behaving responsibly.

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