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The Johnstown Flood Audiobook

The Johnstown Flood

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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

4.4 (2334 )
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4.6 (1713 )
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  •  
    David D. Johnson Phoenix, AZ & Centenial, CO 10-08-15
    David D. Johnson Phoenix, AZ & Centenial, CO 10-08-15 Member Since 2016

    David D. Johnson

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    "The Johnstown Flood's Recreation"

    I go out of my way to read (hear) anything written by Mr. McCullough. While the author is spectacular in his narration, Mr. Herrmann's brings out the most understanding of what Mr. McCullough writes, he is, in short, the very best narrator I could imagine. Mr. McCullough clearly sets himself as a gift to the English language and coupled with his research, (with Mr. Herrmann's narration), we are three times blessed. I can say no more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    drducati Daytona Beach,Fla 10-05-15
    drducati Daytona Beach,Fla 10-05-15 Member Since 2010

    rawlsvet

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    "I Read This Book Years Ago"
    If you could sum up The Johnstown Flood in three words, what would they be?

    Good History


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    This is not a character book. It is history and the closest it comes to character is the wealthy men who belonged to the hunt club.


    What does Edward Herrmann bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Listening to narrative adds a dimension I did not get from reading. I have noticed several books that seem much deeper and more personal when digested as an audio book. "With the Old Breed" is a notable example.


    Any additional comments?

    Very well done and very well narrated. I enjoyed what was to me rather dry reading many years go. This was a major disaster of the "Gilded Age" and it is told with a keen eye for detail.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob R 09-05-15
    Bob R 09-05-15
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    "Great recap."

    informative recap which was so well presented I listened almost start to finish in a day.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer USA 08-23-15
    Amazon Customer USA 08-23-15 Member Since 2008

    Renaissance Man

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    "excellent"

    brings history to life by weaving together interesting and insightful information.. I highly recommend this book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    calbritlb 08-09-15
    calbritlb 08-09-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Interesting!"

    Very well told. It is an important piece of American history we have not readily heard about.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BradNYC NYC 08-02-15
    BradNYC NYC 08-02-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Easy to listen"

    Very easy to get drawn into this story. I could not help but see all the research that went into this story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helen Great Cacapon, WV, United States 07-27-15
    Helen Great Cacapon, WV, United States 07-27-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Buy the Book"

    My Book Club chose this one because we live fairly close to Johnstown. It sounded interesting to read the book and then take a "field trip"....still our plan. I decided to listen to the audio book while everyone else bought and read the hard copy. I found that I had a hard time visualizing the logistics and making sense of the tragic conditions and events of the disaster. Plus, there were so many small stories that had minimal connections to one another. I kept wishing that the writer would choose a focal point...perhaps one shop owner or one heroic matriarch, or one city official...and deliver the narrative from a focused point of view. Instead the tale rambled and felt like a slide show. Certainly the disparate incidents were vivid, but even the sequence faltered. We went back and forth between hours of the day and then days following.
    However, those who read the book had supporting graphics at hand. They liked the book better than I did. With about a week to go before our meeting, I borrowed someone's book and found the photos and diagrams useful.

    I also realized that the book gave one the opportunity to refer back and forth. I still maintain that a good writer like McCullough should deliver the tale without making the reader do his own organizing research.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen Burke 07-25-15
    Ellen Burke 07-25-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Very moving account."

    As always with David McCullough and Edward Hermann, beautifully written and effectively narrated. So sad that Edward Hermann is gone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary 07-25-15
    Mary 07-25-15
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    "Powerful and Descriptive"

    Another excellent masterpiece by McCullough (he is descriptive almost to a fault) as the story can be difficult to hear with its grotesque images. Herrmann reads as though he is the author himself, with an easy tone and deference that takes you right to Johnstown and places you in the midst of the disaster.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Alford 07-16-15
    Ken Alford 07-16-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Another Great McCullough Book!"

    An interesting story, well told, and expertly read.

    This story has been largely forgotten today.

    Highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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