By David McCullough
The lovely tale of 1 of America’s nice mess ups, a preventable tragedy of Gilded Age the US, brilliantly informed by way of grasp historian David McCullough.
At the top of the 19th century, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was once a booming coal-and-steel city jam-packed with hardworking households striving for a section of the nation’s burgeoning business prosperity. within the mountains above Johnstown, an outdated earth dam were rapidly rebuilt to create a lake for an particular summer time inn patronized by way of the tycoons of that very same business prosperity, between them Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Mellon. regardless of repeated warnings of attainable chance, 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 was once a tragedy that turned a countrywide scandal.
Graced by means of David McCullough’s amazing reward for writing richly textured, sympathetic social background, The Johnstown Flood is an soaking up, vintage portrait of lifestyles in nineteenth-century the USA, of overweening self assurance, of power, and of tragedy. It additionally bargains a strong ancient lesson for our century and all occasions: the risk of assuming that simply because individuals are in positions of accountability they're unavoidably behaving responsibly.