The Johnstown Flood

David G. McCullough

Published by Simon & Schuster, 1968
ISBN 10: 0090874900 / ISBN 13: 9780090874903
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Author inscribed to previous owner and signed and dated March 1968. First edition first printing with prospective pamphlet laid in. Price intact jacket shows light shelf wear and tone. Author's first book Please email for photos. Larger books or sets may require additional shipping charges. Books sent via US Postal. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: The stunning story of one of America’s great disasters, a preventable tragedy of Gilded Age America, brilliantly told by master historian David McCullough.

At the end of the nineteenth century, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was a booming coal-and-steel town filled with hardworking families striving for a piece of the nation’s burgeoning industrial prosperity. In the mountains above Johnstown, an old earth dam had been hastily rebuilt to create a lake for an exclusive summer resort patronized by the tycoons of that same industrial prosperity, among them Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Mellon. Despite repeated warnings of possible danger, nothing was done about the dam. Then came May 31, 1889, when the dam burst, sending a wall of water thundering down the mountain, smashing through Johnstown, and killing more than 2,000 people. It was a tragedy that became a national scandal.

Graced by David McCullough’s remarkable gift for writing richly textured, sympathetic social history, The Johnstown Flood is an absorbing, classic portrait of life in nineteenth-century America, of overweening confidence, of energy, and of tragedy. It also offers a powerful historical lesson for our century and all times: the danger of assuming that because people are in positions of responsibility they are necessarily behaving responsibly.

Review: The history of civil engineering may sound boring, but in David McCullough's hands it is, well, riveting. His award-winning histories of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Panama Canal were preceded by this account of the disastrous dam failure that drowned Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in 1889. Written while the last survivors of the flood were still alive, McCullough's narrative weaves the stories of the town, the wealthy men who owned the dam, and the forces of nature into a seamless whole. His account is unforgettable: "The wave kept on coming straight toward him, heading for the very heart of the city. Stores, houses, trees, everything was going down in front of it, and the closer it came, the bigger it seemed to grow.... The height of the wall of water was at least thirty-six feet at the center.... The drowning and devastation of the city took just about ten minutes." A powerful, definitive book, and a tribute to the thousands who died in America's worst inland flood. --Mary Ellen Curtin

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Johnstown Flood
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 1968
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Collectible: Very Good

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David G. McCullough
Published by Simon & Schuster (1968)
ISBN 10: 0090874900 ISBN 13: 9780090874903
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David G. McCullough
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Book Description Simon & Schuster. Book Condition: Very Good. SIGNED/INSCRIBED! NY: Simon and Schuster, 1968. Stated 1st. Hardcover. 8vo. 302 pgs. B/w plates. Signed and inscribed by McCullough on 2nd front endpaper and dated March 16, 1968. Near fine in a very good dust jacket. Very slight sunning to edges of covers. Jacket lightly edgeworn and soiled. Laid in is a wide ribbon bookmark from 'The Women's Ass'n University of Pittsburgh'. Also laid in are 1968 newspaper articles about the flood, the survivors, McCullough's visit, etc. Inquire if you need further information. Bookseller Inventory # B29029-L

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