By David McCullough
The lovely tale of 1 of America’s nice mess ups, a preventable tragedy of Gilded Age the United States, brilliantly instructed by way of grasp historian David McCullough.
At the top of the 19th century, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, used to be a booming coal-and-steel city choked with hardworking households striving for a section of the nation’s burgeoning business prosperity. within the mountains above Johnstown, an previous earth dam were swiftly rebuilt to create a lake for an particular summer season lodge patronized via 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 was once performed concerning the dam. Then got here may possibly 31, 1889, whilst 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 extraordinary present for writing richly textured, sympathetic social heritage, The Johnstown Flood is an soaking up, vintage portrait of existence in nineteenth-century the US, of overweening self belief, of strength, and of tragedy. It additionally bargains a robust historic lesson for our century and all occasions: the risk of assuming that simply because everyone is in positions of accountability they're unavoidably behaving responsibly.