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The Johnstown Flood Audiobook

The Johnstown Flood

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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 portrait of life in 19th-century America, of overweening confidence, of energy, and of tragedy. This is a powerful historical lesson for our century and all times: the danger of assuming that because people are in positions of responsibility they are behaving responsibly.

©1968 David McCullough; (P)2005 Simon & Schuster Inc. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What Members Say

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  •  
    John S MA 04-09-15
    John S MA 04-09-15 Member Since 2014

    Avid audible listener for over 10 years.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Listen with Excellent Narration"

    I have listened to many of David McCllough books, actually my first audible book was his novel 1776. Although nonfiction it reads more like a novel with an excellent description of the devastation created by the Johnstown flood. If you like American history this is a must listen.

    About a third of the book is a lead up to the flood, about 1/3 is the flood, and the reminder is the after investigation of the flood. In the end one can suppose mother nature was mostly to blame. THe description of a eighty foot wall of water that tore down the valley after the collapse of the dam is gripping. It is interesting to here the tales of what separated the living from the dead, mostly plain dumb luck

    Worth the credit

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meggin Reno, NV, United States 09-28-14
    Meggin Reno, NV, United States 09-28-14 Member Since 2015

    Speaker, Coach, Author - in Reno, NV (A GREAT place!) I've been an avid Audible fan for several years. Listen on my iPhone many hours each week.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not sure why I put off listening - EXCELLENT book!"

    For whatever reason, this one just sat in my library until I finally thought, "Well, I'll give it a try." It was outstanding! I want more of David McCullough's books and Edward Hermann's narration was just right! THANKS for the story and the history.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allan Morristown, NJ, United States 11-26-09
    Allan Morristown, NJ, United States 11-26-09
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    "Like You Were There"

    As the title states, to hear this book is like you were there. A lover of history will surely like this.....an amazing event described wonderfully and narrated very well.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wolfpacker Fort Mill, SC 07-22-08
    Wolfpacker Fort Mill, SC 07-22-08 Member Since 2014

    Curtis

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    "You Can Really Picture It All"

    This writing and narration really put you in the middle of the flood. So descriptive and gut-wrenching! Also, you will learn quite a bit about the class struggles, banking magnates, and feel of the times.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David West Newton, MA, USA 09-15-06
    David West Newton, MA, USA 09-15-06 Member Since 2004
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    "Another Good Listen"

    David McCullough has done it, yet again. A great story of this significnat tragedy told in a compelling manner. Hermann does his usual good job in keeping the story moving along. I was interested particularly with the post-flood stories and also of the many myths that came from the flood in later years.
    Highly recommend

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua Philadelphia, PA, USA 08-11-05
    Joshua Philadelphia, PA, USA 08-11-05
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    "McCullough / Herrmann a great combo"

    The author has, once again, delivered the goods. A great historical tale about a (generationally) liitle known topic. I had always known about the flood, but never the details. McCullough is able to deliver a terrific work that is hard to put down. Edward Herrmann, better known in some of his acting roles as FDR or the Chrysler guy--uses his unusual and instantly recognizeable voice to deliver a book that you feel is being read like a good story with important parables. His other reads are equally wonderful by the way.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 10-26-11
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 10-26-11 Member Since 2010

    Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.

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    "Human Tragedy"
    Any additional comments?

    I had not read much about the cause of the flood or what made it such a epic tragedy, so I learned a lot from this book. I was impressed by the incredible courage of many of the townspeople attempting to save themselves, their families and their neighbors, but also saddened and appalled at the callousness of some of the club members whose arrogance contributed to the immensity of the damage and loss of life. A real eye opener into those times. Very well read as always by Edward Herrmann.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ohad SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA, United States 06-16-15
    Ohad SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA, United States 06-16-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Excellent story read very well"

    I knew nothing about Johnstown. I even had to look on Google Maps to see where it is. Now, I feel cheated that this was never covered in any history class I ever took. What a monumental event! McCullough makes the story very interesting and the reader is superb. I just finished "The Wright Brothers", which McCullough reads himself, but this reader is even better. If you have never heard f this event or know little about it, this is a must read for any fan of history.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arlene Johns 06-14-15
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    "Must-read for history buffs"

    He sure knows how to weave history with interesting personal stories, I grew up in the valley and thought I knew all about the flood, but I learned so much through this book!6

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alan Chicago, IL, United States 08-26-09
    Alan Chicago, IL, United States 08-26-09
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    "Detailed and Spectacular"

    An amazingly detailed look at a horrific historical event. Narrator is perfect for this book. The book's apex is, of course, the flood itself, but the choices, actions, and attitudes of the people both before and after the event makes for an interesting look at society too. No higher recommendation.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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