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The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet

The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet

In the tradition of Erik Larson's Isaac's Storm, a riveting narrative about the biggest earthquake in recorded history in North America--the 1964 Alaskan earthquake that demolished the city of Valdez and obliterated the coastal village of Chenega--and the scientist sent to look for geological clues to explain the dynamics of earthquakes, who helped to confirm the then controversial theory of plate tectonics.
On March 27, 1964, at 5:36 p.m., the biggest earthquake ever recorded in North America--and the second biggest ever in the world, measuring 9.2 on the Richter scale--struck Alaska, devastating coastal towns and villages and killing more than 130 people in what was then a relatively sparsely populated region. In a riveting tale about the almost unimaginable brute force of nature, New York Times science journalist Henry Fountain, in his first trade book, re-creates the lives of the villagers and townspeople living in Chenega, Anchorage, and Valdez; describes the sheer beauty of the geology of the region, with its towering peaks and 20-mile-long glaciers; and reveals the impact of the quake on the towns, the buildings, and the lives of the inhabitants. George Plafker, a geologist for the U.S. Geological Survey with years of experience scouring the Alaskan wilderness, is asked to investigate the Prince William Sound region in the aftermath of the quake, to better understand its origins. His work confirmed the then controversial theory of plate tectonics that explained how and why such deadly quakes occur, and how we can plan for the next one.

Titulo:The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet
ISBN:9781101904060
Tipo de formato:



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    The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet Comentarios

  • Montzalee Wittmann

    The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet by Henry Fountain is a wonderful history and science book that I enjoyed thoroughly. Two subjects ...

  • Vicki

    When I saw this cover, I knew I wanted to read more about the great quake in Alaska on March 27, 1964. The earthquake that I can remember seeing the images of houses lifted in the air while roads sunk...

  • Nancy

    When I was growing up in the early 1960s my grandfather was corresponding with Maurice Ewing and William Donn of the Lamont Geological Observatory. Gramps had been interested in their work since 1958 ...

  • Lauren

    The ground itself was starting to break into strange, angular blocks, some rotating up and others down. It was as if swarms of organisms were inside the soil. For approximately five minutes on March ...

  • happy

    I first saw the author of this book on CSPAN's BookTV, (https://www.c-span.org/video/?432319-...) and thought it sounded interesting. Also, I can remember watching the news coverage of this on my fami...

  • Michael

    I received this book through a Good Reads "First Reads" Give-away. A very entertaining read, Fountain covers not just the earthquake that struck Alaska on March 27, 1964, but also explores the evoluti...

  • Vconover

    I was there - 15 years old at the time, sitting in our livingroom in Valdez when the shaking started. Henry Fountain has really captured what it was like to live through this earthquake and the days f...

  • Literary Chic

    Other than required earth science books in school, I have never read anything related to geology. I've never found earthquakes particularly fascinating so I'm not sure why I signed up for this book's ...

  • David

    A fine book, well-written, with interesting characters and human drama. This might be a good present for teenaged aspiring scientists, but only if the scientist's parents don't mind you putting ideas ...

  • Courtney Judy

    I picked this up to read because of my intense (and many times irrational) fear of earthquakes -- figuring this might help ease some of my terror by providing some scientific background and explanatio...

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