The Johnstown Flood

The Johnstown Flood Author David McCullough
ISBN-10 0671207148
ISBN-13 9780671207144
Year 1987-01-15
Pages 304
Language English
Publisher Simon & Schuster
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At the end of the last 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

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