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At the dawn of the twentieth century, a great confidence suffused America. Isaac Cline was one of the era's new men, a scientist who believed he knew all there was to know about the motion of clouds and the behavior of storms. The idea that a hurricane could damage the city of Galveston, Texas, where he was based, was to him preposterous, "an absurd delusion." It was 1900, a year when America felt bigger and stronger than ever before. Nothing in nature could hobble the gleaming city of Galveston, then a magical place that seemed destined to become the New York of the Gulf. That August, a strange, prolonged heat wave gripped the nation and killed scores of people in New York and Chicago. Odd things seemed to happen everywhere: A plague of crickets engulfed Waco. The Bering Glacier began to shrink. Rain fell on Galveston with greater intensity than anyone could remember. Far away, in Africa, immense thunderstorms blossomed over the city of Dakar, and great currents of wind converged. A wave of atmospheric turbulence slipped from the coast of western Africa. Most such waves faded quickly. This one did not. In Cuba, America's overconfidence was made all too obvious by the Weather Bureau's obsession with controlling hurricane forecasts, even though Cuba's indigenous weathermen had pioneered hurricane science. As the bureau's forecasters assured the nation that all was calm in the Caribbean, Cuba's own weathermen fretted about ominous signs in the sky. A curious stillness gripped Antigua. Only a few unlucky sea captains discovered that the storm had achieved an intensity no man alive had ever experienced. In Galveston, reassured by Cline's belief that no hurricane could seriously damage the city, there was celebration. Children played in the rising water. Hundreds of people gathered at the beach to marvel at the fantastically tall waves and gorgeous pink sky, until the surf began ripping the city's beloved beachfront apart. Within the next few hours Galveston would endure a hurricane that to this day remains the nation's deadliest natural disaster. In Galveston alone at least 6,000 people, possibly as many as 10,000, would lose their lives, a number far greater than the combined death toll of the Johnstown Flood and 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. And Isaac Cline would experience his own unbearable loss. Meticulously researched and vividly written, Isaac's Storm is based on Cline's own letters, telegrams, and reports, the testimony of scores of survivors, and our latest understanding of the hows and whys of great storms. Ultimately, however, it is the story of what can happen when human arrogance meets nature's last great uncontrollable force. As such, Isaac's Storm carries a warning for our time. From the Hardcover edition.
Following in the footsteps of its popular predecessor, the second edition of Emergency Management: The American Experience 1900–2010 provides the background needed to understand the key political and policy underpinnings of emergency management, exploring how major "focusing events" have shaped the development of emergency management. It builds on the original theoretical framework and chronological approach, but improves on the first edition by adding fresh information on older events such as Hurricane Katrina as well as a new chapter covering the BP oil spill in 2010 and the unprecedented characteristics of the disaster response to it. The final chapter offers an insightful discussion of the public administration concepts that constitute the larger context for consideration of emergency management in the United States for more than a century. Some praise for the new edition of this award-winning book: The first edition of this book filled a serious gap in the literature by providing historical context for present-day emergency management. This edition goes further to flesh out that context, detailing the political and practical underpinnings of emergency management organization and practice. —Professor William L. Waugh Jr., Department of Public Administration & Urban Studies, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University ... a must-read for both undergraduate and graduate students who want to learn from our past and join a growing professional field committed to enhancing community resilience and sustainability. — John C. Pine, director, Research Institute for Energy, Environment and Economics, Appalachian State University
In this work, witnesses to this deadly disaster describe, in many never-before-published accounts, their encounters with this monstrous storm.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Reviving Ophelia, Another Country, and The Shelter of Each Other comes an inspirational book that shows how words can change the world. Words are the most powerful tools at our disposal. With them, writers have saved lives and taken them, brought justice and confounded it, started wars and ended them. Writers can change the way we think and transform our definitions of right and wrong. Writing to Change the World is a beautiful paean to the transformative power of words. Encapsulating Mary Pipher's years as a writer and therapist, it features rousing commentary, personal anecdotes, memorable quotations, and stories of writers who have helped reshape society. It is a book that will shake up readers' beliefs, expand their minds, and possibly even inspire them to make their own mark on the world.
The field of environmental history emerged just decades ago but has established itself as one of the most innovative and important new approaches to history, one that bridges the human and natural world, the humanities and the sciences. With the current trend towards internationalizing history, environmental history is perhaps the quintessential approach to studying subjects outside the nation-state model, with pollution, global warming, and other issues affecting the earth not stopping at national borders. With 25 essays, this Handbook is global in scope and innovative in organization, looking at the field thematically through such categories as climate, disease, oceans, the body, energy, consumerism, and international relations.
At a crucial time in American history, narratives of women in command or imperiled at sea contributed to the construction of a national rhetoric. Robin Miskolcze makes her case by way of careful readings of images of women at sea before the Civil War in her book Women and Children First. Though the sea has traditionally been interpreted as the province of men, women have gone to sea as mothers, wives, figureheads, and slaves. In fact, in the nineteenth century, women at sea contributed to the formation of an ethics of survival that helped to define American ideals. This study examines, often for the first time, images of women at sea in antebellum narratives ranging from novels and sermons to newspaper accounts and lithographs. Anglo-American women in antebellum sea narratives are often portrayed as models of American ideals derived from women’s seemingly innate Christian self-sacrifice. Miskolcze argues that these ideals, in conjunction with the maritime directive of “women and children first” during sea disasters, in turn defined a new masculine individualism, one that was morally minded, rooted in Christian principles, and dedicated to preserving virtue. Further, Miskolcze contends that without the antebellum sea narratives portraying the Christian self-sacrifice of women, the abolitionist cause would have suffered. African American women appealed to the directive of “women and children first” to make manifest their own womanhood, and by extension, their own humanity.
The weather is all around us all the time. From ancient times people have attributed the weather to the work of the gods. Ancient Israel shared this perception. The book of Psalms reflects theologically significant views on the weather that have not, until now, been fully explored. In this meteorological survey of the Psalms, whimsically called "meteorotheology," every reference to the weather is translated in accordance with the known climate and weather of ancient Israel. Each verse is discussed with particular attention to the function of the weather in the hymnal of ancient Israel. This book will be a resource for translators, clergy, and scholars with an interest in how the weather impacted religious outlooks in ancient Israel. Readers will learn that some expected associations, such as thunder and lightning, did not influence Israelite views on the natural world in the same way that they do today. Yahweh was God of the weather, and the Psalms frequently use this paradigm as a reason for both praise and fear of the Lord.

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