KITastrophe: Jan - Mar - Technology/Industrial/Man-made

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KITastrophe: Jan - Mar - Technology/Industrial/Man-made

Dic 19, 2020, 8:19pm

Welcome to our January to March read about Technological disasters.

A coupe of disasters that spring to mind are the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear power plant disasters. Another subject could be train wrecks.

Post your ideas for subjects and books and I'll add them to the top.

Here's the wiki:

Dic 19, 2020, 8:20pm



Dic 19, 2020, 10:48pm

I just finished (so not what I'll be reading, but if anyone else is interested, these would both fit):
Floodpath: the Deadliest Man-Made Disaster of 20th-Century America... / Jon Wilkman

And another suggestion from earlier in the year for me:
Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 / Stephen Puleo.

I will hopefully take some time tomorrow to pick out what I'll be reading.

Dic 20, 2020, 11:09am

This one is a cross-over to the yearlong pandemic challenge, but it fits here for industrial catastrophe.
The Cutter Incident: How America's First Polio Vaccine Led to the Growing Vaccine Crisis

I second >3 LibraryCin: for Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 I really enjoyed that read.

What about the Flint water crisis? Does that fit this category? If so, I would recommend What the Eyes Don't See

Editado: Dic 20, 2020, 11:30am

I can definitely recommend Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham.

Dic 20, 2020, 12:33pm

>5 Tess_W: I want to get back to that one! I had it on ebook and borrowed it at the worst possible time for my energy and focus. Hoping a switch to print and a less anxiety-inducing 2021 will allow me to finish it.

Dic 20, 2020, 12:42pm

>5 Tess_W: >6 rabbitprincess: This book has been on my list for too long. I will try to move it higher so I can get to it this quarter. Thanks for reminding me!

Dic 20, 2020, 1:45pm

Another event I'd recommend reading for is the Halifax Explosion.

Dic 20, 2020, 2:43pm

And with that (the Halifax Explosion), I think I'll read:
Barometer Rising / Hugh MacLennan

Dic 31, 2020, 1:53pm

I haven't participated in this challenge in the best but I do occasionally like to read a disaster book. While most of these are weather-related for me, I received a book from an LT friend in the annual Christmas Swap which would fit the ball for the first quarter.

While there is said to be plenty of true crime elements, The Great London Smog is part of the subtitle of Death in the Air.

Earlier, someone mentioned the book about the great Boston molasses flood of 1919. The year I read it, it was my favorite disaster book.

Dic 31, 2020, 7:23pm

>10 lindapanzo: Oooh, I'll be looking forward to your review on that one!

Ene 6, 9:52pm

Barometer Rising / Hugh MacLennan
3.25 stars

It’s 1917 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Penny (a woman working at the shipyard – very unusual for the time)’s love (and cousin) has been at war and he’s missing. They all think he’s dead. So, when Angus (much older than Penny) asks her to marry him, she accepts. Only days later, the Halifax Harbour goes up in an explosion.

The book only follows just over one week. It took longer than I liked to get to the explosion. Leading up to it wasn’t nearly as interesting as the explosion itself and the aftermath, but not long after, it concluded mostly with their regular lives again. If there had been more focus on the disaster, I would have enjoyed it more, I’m sure. There was an afterword by another “classic” Canadian author, Alistair Macleod – one of those that analyzes the book; one of the ones that should never be an introduction but often is (because it gives away the story)! Luckily, it was an afterword.

Ene 22, 9:31am

Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 by Stephen Puleo. This was a great account of a frightening and deadly event that took place amid the Spanish Influenza outbreak in 1919. The author did his homework as he used primary sources including first person accounts, newspaper articles, and even children's recollections. He also reported on the resultant trial and its outcome. 280 pages 4 stars

Ene 22, 10:36am

>13 Tess_W: Glad to hear that you enjoyed that one.

Ene 22, 11:23am

>13 Tess_W: So glad you enjoyed Dark Tide. I really found it fascinating. It was unknown to me prior to my reading it several years ago even though I grew up in a Boston suburb! 4* read for me as well.

Editado: Ene 27, 1:49am

>15 beebeereads: I had never heard of it before, either, until I saw it on LT! (And I'm a history prof) Two summers ago my husband and I took a vacation to Boston, spent 5 days there and in near Salem, soaked up all the history we could, and still didn't hear of it. One of Boston's best kept secrets!

Ene 26, 8:17am

Triangle: The Fire That Changed America by David Von Drehle

In 1911, a fire at the Triangle Waist Company in New York City killed 146 people, mostly young immigrant women who were unable to escape the 8th and 9th floors. Some of them jumped from the factory's windows; some jumped down the elevator shaft; some burned a few feet from a door that was likely locked. I'd heard about this disaster and how it led to major labor reforms in the United States, but I knew little of the specifics. Von Drehle has written a solid history, which covers a major strike at the factory in 1909, conditions under which so many Eastern European immigrants came to the US, reform efforts before and after the fire, and the influence of the fire on American politics through the New Deal. Parts of the book are a bit dry, but the background stories of some of the major figures involved and of the victims is interesting, and the description of the fire itself is harrowing.

4 stars

Ene 27, 1:46am

>17 katiekrug: Putting that book of my WL. I teach about this to college freshmen in a unit on urbanization. It certainly is very interesting as well as being a landmark case.

Ene 27, 8:20am

>18 Tess_W: - There is a lot about urbanization, the tenements, the changing nature of work, etc. so it should be a good resource for you, Tess.

Feb 4, 5:41pm

Just finished Mill Town. This is a memoir mixed with an investigation of the pollution of the Androscoggin River in Maine. Did a cancer cluster exist because of the bleach that was used at the Mill? Were there other health crises that came about because of the leaching of chemicals into the river? I would definitely consider this level of deliberate pollution a man-made disaster.
This was a memoir along with an in-depth look at a number of environmental and sociological factors that lead the small towns of Rumford and Mexico Maine down a path of decline. The author mixed her own memories and family history (Acadian) with research into population studies and court findings in an effort to discern whether the pollution of the Androscoggin River was a cause of a cancer cluster and other health issues that beset the communities.
This book wandered through many related topics and was occasionally frustrating in its lack of resolution, but then I guess that was the point after all. The author describes the environment and the people with great clarity and sensitivity. This was clearly a personal journey and I appreciated the fact that she invited the reader along to get to know her hometown from inside out.