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Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

19 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919

This book tells the story of a disaster that has been kept in the shadows since its occurrence in 1919. Many native Bostonians do not even know of the immense molasses flood that destroyed their home town almost a century ago. This book is the first full accounting of...
This book tells the story of a disaster that has been kept in the shadows since its occurrence in 1919. Many native Bostonians do not even know of the immense molasses flood that destroyed their home town almost a century ago. This book is the first full accounting of the Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919. It starts by explaining the need for an enormous 2.3 million gallon molasses tank in Boston and continues through the extensive civil lawsuit that followed a decade after the flood. The first few chapters of this book are written in the eyes of a few workers that helped build and oversee the production of the tank. The reader gets an inside look at how the tank was completed, the dangers of being a crew member for the tank and the reason that caused a tragedy where twenty-one innocent people lost their lives.
The next few chapters touch upon life outside of the molasses tank. The 20th Century was the time of World War I, Prohibition, the anarchist movement, immigration and the expanding of big businesses. This book not only describes the Molasses Flood, it
gives incredible detail on other issues that were also present at the time of the flood.
Vast detail is given of every event that took place the day of the massive flood. A full chapter is dedicated to remembrance of those who lost their lives and were injured by the flood. Also, the extent of the damage is recalled and first-hand pictures are shown for enhancement. The final chapters show the public's reaction to the flood, as well as details about the multiyear lawsuit and an explanation of why the flood was considered "One of the worst catastrophes." This book was compelling, interesting and informative and it has made the Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 more well-known throughout the country. I would greatly recommend this book.

posted by ChocolateChip on May 18, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

The Dark Tide: The Great Molasses Flood of 1919

This novel tells the story of the 1919 molasses flood in Boston. A molasses holding tank was built on the commercial street wharf. It had the ability to hold about 26 million gallons of molasses. On January 15, 1919 2.3 million gallons of molasses flood Boston's North E...
This novel tells the story of the 1919 molasses flood in Boston. A molasses holding tank was built on the commercial street wharf. It had the ability to hold about 26 million gallons of molasses. On January 15, 1919 2.3 million gallons of molasses flood Boston's North End. The cause of this flood was faulty engineering, and a gas bubble formed by the mixing of the cold molasses and warm molasses from a new shipment. The result is a four fronted 25 foot high, 160 foot wide tidal wave that caused catastrophic damage, and multiple deaths. All structures surrounding the tank were destroyed. It took a many, many hours of man power to clear the destruction, using salt water to cut the hardened molasses. It was headline news all over the country, and Boston has never seen a disaster quite like this since.

It is clear the amount of research that Puleo put into this book. He uses characters from all ranges of the spectrum. He incorporates many important landmarks and events in Boston. His book not only gives insight into the happenings of the molasses flood but also a picture of what Boston was like through many important events in American history. He talks of the effects of World War II on Boston, such as the gathering of Bostonians on the Boston Common before Wilson's speech in April 1917. His great knowledge of American history, and his extensive research of Boston's North End make for a informative and intimate novel. His characters are so diverse that it is hard not to relate to something or someone in this story. All New Englanders should read this novel, it shows the true Boston. It shows Bostonians coming together to help each other in a time when the city was greatly divided by heritage and class. This is a smart read, with great voice and meaning. This story needed to be told.

posted by Mel-NMRHS on January 15, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2014

    If you care about what happened tothe tank...

    I about yawned myself to death trying to slog through this. I wanted to know what happened to the tank. The history just got in the way. Go to wikipedia for a synopsis.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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