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The Johnstown Flood | [David McCullough]

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

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1408 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kimbrough Jennings Longwood, Florida United States 04-01-15
    Kimbrough Jennings Longwood, Florida United States 04-01-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent Historical Perspective"

    Wonderful narration of a detailed history of a very tragic event.

    Great mixture of personal recollections facts and circumstances that caused the flood.

    Narrative made me contemplate what it had to be in Johnstown before and after the flood.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan United States 04-01-15
    Jan United States 04-01-15 Member Since 2013
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    "We are saddened by narrator's demise 12/2015"

    McCullough always does great work, and not only because of meticulous research. He is well able to bring history to life, and Ed Hermann was skilled at projecting that ability.
    "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-28-15 Member Since 2015
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    "You should get this book."

    The first book by McCullough that i read was 1776 and i thought it was fantastic. The second was The Johnstown Flood and it did not disappoint. His description of the dam breaking coupled with the narration created a movie in my mind. It was a great book and the narrator Edward Herrmann did a great job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    joyce 03-28-15
    joyce 03-28-15

    Greedy, voracious reader since age five. After a number of eye injuries & surgeries, reading is hard. So now, I listen.

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    "interesting bit of history"

    This is the second book by McCullough that I have read. It is a very interesting account of events surrounding the Johnstown flood, which I had been taught was just the result of a 100-year storm. But still, I think McCullough can't hold a candle to Timothy Egan, who makes American history stories leap off the page like Indiana Jones, or something!
    I do like listening to Edward Herrmann's voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana 03-28-15
    Diana 03-28-15 Member Since 2012

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Very descriptive"

    Very explicit and descriptive account of such a tragic event. If you have ever lived near a river, it will take you home.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lillieth 03-28-15
    Lillieth 03-28-15
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    "WONDERFUL READ; LISTEN AND LEARN"

    Such an interesting topic; the subject matter was completely new to me. I've replayed entirely at least five different times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A User Birmingham, AL, United States 03-27-15
    A User Birmingham, AL, United States 03-27-15 Member Since 2012

    Lake lover

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    "Interesting history"

    Understanding how people lived during this period in history was interesting. Listening to the narrators voice was a pleasure. It was hard for me to envision the geography, I would have understood the story better if I'd seen a map.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel N. Hill NY USA 03-27-15
    Daniel N. Hill NY USA 03-27-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Good history!"

    Pleasant retell of what and when during a disaster. Many interesting happenings from a long time ago. Good expose of how people respond even today as disasters occur.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael CANBERRA CITY, Australia 03-25-15
    Michael CANBERRA CITY, Australia 03-25-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Extraordinary Tale, Well Told"
    Any additional comments?

    The heading says it all: 'Extraordinary Tale, Well Told' - well researched and written as well as beautifully narrated. This was a fully absorbing audio book as well as being personally educational as I knew nothing of this historical calamity. I thoroughly recommend this one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. I. Se Denver, CO 03-24-15
    M. I. Se Denver, CO 03-24-15 Member Since 2010

    Double Black Diamond

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    "Not much to it"

    This story is a collection of vignettes and anecdotal some nations of various calamities which occurred during the flood. There's no real confusion, or for that matter, been to this book. It just Kaina rambles on and describes what a flood can do. You can get the picture in about 15 minutes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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