The Great Earthquake and Firestorms of 1906: How San Francisco Nearly Destroyed Itself / Edition 1

The Great Earthquake and Firestorms of 1906: How San Francisco Nearly Destroyed Itself / Edition 1

by Philip L. Fradkin
     
 

"The prolonged terror that would follow the 1906 earthquake began when a ship steaming off San Francisco's Golden Gate "seemed to jump clear out of the water" with the first temblor. This account of the earthquake, the devastating firestorms that followed, and the city's subsequent reconstruction shows how, after the shaking stopped, humans - not the forces of nature … See more details below

Overview

"The prolonged terror that would follow the 1906 earthquake began when a ship steaming off San Francisco's Golden Gate "seemed to jump clear out of the water" with the first temblor. This account of the earthquake, the devastating firestorms that followed, and the city's subsequent reconstruction shows how, after the shaking stopped, humans - not the forces of nature - nearly destroyed San Francisco in a remarkable display of power politics and simple ineptitude ." "Philip Fradkin takes us onto the city's ruptured streets and into its exclusive clubs, its teeming hospitals and refugee camps, and its Chinatown. He introduces the people - both famous and infamous - who experienced these events, such as Jack and Charmian London, Enrico Caruso, James Phelan, and Abraham Ruef. He traces the horrifying results of the mayor's illegal order to shoot to kill anyone suspected of a crime, and he uncovers the ugliness of racism that almost led to war with Japan. He reveals an elite oligarchy that failed to serve the needs of ordinary people, the heroic efforts of obscure citizens, the long-lasting psychological effects of the disaster, and how all these events ushered in a period of unparalleled civic upheaval." This look at how people and institutions function in great catastrophes demonstrates just how deeply earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, hurricanes, floods, wars, droughts, or acts of terrorism can shape us.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520248205
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
04/03/2006
Edition description:
First Edition, With a New Preface
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)

Table of Contents


Preface

I. BEFORE
Beginnings
The Tale of Two Cities
Science, Politics, and San Francisco
The Hotel and the Opera House

II. DURING
Wednesday, April 18, 1906
Thursday, April 19, 1906
Friday, April 20, 1906

III. AFTER
The Relief Effort
The Upbuilding of San Francisco
The Search for Understanding
The Culture of Disaster
Disaster and Race
The Politics of Disaster
The Fat Lady Sings

Acknowledgments
Notes
Index

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