Curse of the Narrows
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Curse of the Narrows

4.8 5
by Laura M. Mac Donald
     
 

ISBN-10: 0802715109

ISBN-13: 9780802715104

Pub. Date: 11/14/2006

Publisher: Walker & Company

The dramatic story of one of the greatest disasters in history

In 1917, the port of Halifax, Nova Scotia, was crowded with ships leaving for war-torn Europe. On December 6th, two of them—the Mont Blanc and the Imo—collided in the Narrows, a hard-to-navigate stretch of the harbor. Ablaze, and with explosions on her deck

Overview

The dramatic story of one of the greatest disasters in history

In 1917, the port of Halifax, Nova Scotia, was crowded with ships leaving for war-torn Europe. On December 6th, two of them—the Mont Blanc and the Imo—collided in the Narrows, a hard-to-navigate stretch of the harbor. Ablaze, and with explosions on her deck filling the sky, the Mont Blanc grounded against the city's docks.

As thousands rushed to their windows and into the streets to watch, she exploded with such force that the 3,121 tons of her iron hull vaporized in a cloud that shot up more than 2,000 feet; the explosion was so unusual that Robert Oppenheimer would study its effects to predict the devastation of an atomic bomb. The blast caused a giant wave that swept over parts of the city, followed by a slick, black rain that fell for ten minutes. Much of the city was flattened, and not one in 12,000 buildings within a 16-mile radius left undamaged. More than 1,600 Haligonians were killed and 6,000 injured; and within twenty-four hours, a blizzard had isolated Halifax from the world.

Set vividly against the background of World War I, Curse of the Narrows is the first major account of the world's largest pre-atomic explosion, the epic relief mission from Boston, and the riveting trial of the Mont Blanc's captain and pilot. Laura M. Mac Donald is as adept at describing the dynamics of a chain reaction explosion as she is at chronicling unforgettable human dramas of miraculous survival, unfathomable loss, and the medical breakthroughs in pediatrics and eye surgery that followed the disaster
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Using primary sources--many of which haven't been read in decades and--with a wonderful feel for narrative history, Mac Donald chronicles one of the most compelling and dramatic events of the 20th century.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802715104
Publisher:
Walker & Company
Publication date:
11/14/2006
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
372
Sales rank:
747,921
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.76(d)

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Curse of the Narrows 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Jersey18KY More than 1 year ago
"Curse Of The Narrows" is an excellent, interesting, historical read. This is a great book for history lovers and also an exciting story of the way people react and get through horrible tragedy. It is from a time when people led simple lives and communication was not like it is today. I highly recommend this book and would even read it again!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best nonfiction books I have ever read and I read A LOT of nonfiction. It is beautifully written and I was touched by the author's wisdom and empathy. Mac Donald blends the details and facts of the event with the personal stories of the victims of the explosion. I was left with a very good idea of life in the maritime regions of Southeast Canada and New England. The Halifax disaster was a major historical event and Laura Mac Donald has written the definitive book about it. She has a wonderful command of the English language, both Canadian and American.
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