Monday, January 7, 2008

Book: Isaac's Storm

Erik Larson, author of Isaac's Storm, uses a fast-paced non-fiction genre to deliver the story of the hurricane that destroyed Galveston in 1900. The text does an excellent job of merging drama with geography and history and provides a nice model for comparison to more recent hurricanes/cyclones.

This text would provide an excellent starting point for a physical geography course, allowing the instructor to teach about the history of weather reporting, the science of weather, and the social implications surrounding prediction of natural hazards, the realities of living and dying through natural disasters, and the role of public institutions and individuals in providing aid to destroyed regions. The book would serve as a wonderful case study for comparison to more recent hurricanes traveling through the Gulf of Mexico.

In typical fashion, Erik Larson does a fabulous job of linking the personal stories to the science while proving readers with "edge-of-their-seats" stories. It is difficult to believe Larson's texts are non-fiction because of the level of detail he provides his readers.

I highly recommend this book, along with his previous books: Thunderstruckand Devil in the White City.

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