The Johnstown Flood Audiobook | David McCullough | Audible.com
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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

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  •  
    Laurie Bellingham, WA, United States 10-23-10
    Laurie Bellingham, WA, United States 10-23-10 Member Since 2009
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    "Solid non-fiction read"

    I knew nothing about this flood, other than the name. It was a fascinating look at one of our largest man-made disasters. A truly tragic tale, but filled with heroic people, as well as interesting looks at historical figures. I wanted to listen each day, wondering how certain people were going to get out of this disaster. Learned a lot and was entertained - that's a good book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith Chesapeake, VA, United States 05-19-10
    Judith Chesapeake, VA, United States 05-19-10 Member Since 2010

    Inventor with successful invention. Listen to my books while at the gym. Good for my brain!

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    "The Johnstown Flood (Unabridged)"

    WOW!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Lyter Kempton, PA 05-15-10
    L. Lyter Kempton, PA 05-15-10 Member Since 2010

    Runner, Commuter, Dietitian with a passion for U.S. History.

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    "Awful Event, Great Re-telling"

    A recent visit to the flood museum (in the city of Johnstown) and the US Park Service Flood Memorial (at the South Fork Dam Site) piqued my interest in re-visiting the book after many years. Why is the museum in Johnstown avidly anti-sportman's club (after all, Andrew Carnagie donated the building that houses the museum) while the Memorial on the hillside by the dam much more sympathetic to the club men? McCullough is objective yet somehow understanding of the very human traits that created this tragedy. Backround information detailed, interesting and essential to the story. The narrator was great but obviously not native to PA - I had trouble understand some of the place and people names he was referring to. A chilling tale of man vs. nature that sadly keeps repeating itself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Greenwich CT 06830 03-26-10
    Chris Greenwich CT 06830 03-26-10 Member Since 2008
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    "Wonderful integration of history and characters"

    This is my third book by McCullough and each one has been wonderful. Though not classics, his historical books provide an exceptional look at history while understanding the people and times. He has an excellent ability to weave historical details, character analysis, and politics in an entertaining and enjoyable manner. I finished listening to the book feeling as though I had been an eye witness and enjoyed every minute of the journey. Nice audible version, Hermann does a great job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Newport, New Caledonia 06-01-09
    Margaret Newport, New Caledonia 06-01-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wow!!! What a great book!!!"

    I couldn't stop listening to this book. The writing is so compelling, the narration so vivid, that I felt like I could actually see the action that is being described. Such a tragedy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim United States 04-12-13
    Tim United States 04-12-13 Member Since 2010

    Not a mainstream reader.

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    "No Nitty Gritty"

    I'm a huge fan of David McCullough. I think he is the best historian of all times. I've read most of his books about our past times, but something is missing in "The Johnstown Flood." Maybe I've been reading too many books on history or maybe I bought the wrong book, but the Johnstown's story didn't felt the same from other writing from McCullough. The story just felt short of nitty gritty details that I expect from this author.

    This book felt very short. "The Johnstown Flood" is the shortest book in David McCullough's collection. Usually when reading his books, you will listen at least 20 hours or much longer of specific facts, but Johnstown is barely over 9 hours.

    I thought that I bought the abridge version of the audiobook by mistake.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Santa Fe, NM, USA 07-26-05
    Nancy Santa Fe, NM, USA 07-26-05
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    "book good but reader annoying"

    I rarely complain about a reader, but this one is just too sing-songy for my tastes. I find him very distracting. He sometimes hits 5 or 6 notes in a sentence and as many as 4 in a single ord. Almost all his words end in a changed note. I do like the book very much, but am having a hard time enjoying it for this reason.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
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