Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919

Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919

by Stephen Puleo
Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919

Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919

by Stephen Puleo


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A new 100th anniversary edition of the only adult book on one of the odder disasters in US history—and the greed, disregard for poor immigrants, and lack of safety standards that led to it.

Around noon on January 15, 1919, a group of firefighters were playing cards in Boston’s North End when they heard a tremendous crash. It was like roaring surf, one of them said later. Like a runaway two-horse team smashing through a fence, said another. A third firefighter jumped up from his chair to look out a window—“Oh my God!” he shouted to the other men, “Run!” A 50-foot-tall steel tank filled with 2.3 million gallons of molasses had just collapsed on Boston’s waterfront, disgorging its contents as a 15-foot-high wave of molasses that at its outset traveled at 35 miles an hour. It demolished wooden homes, even the brick fire station. The number of dead wasn’t known for days. It would be years before a landmark court battle determined who was responsible for the disaster.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807078006
Publisher: Beacon Press
Publication date: 01/15/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 101,421
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Stephen Puleo is the author of several books including the Boston Globe bestseller The Boston Italians and the critically acclaimed Boston-area bestseller Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919. A former award-winning newspaper reporter and contributor to American History magazine, he holds a master’s degree in history and teaches at Suffolk University. He and his wife, Kate, live in the Boston area. Find him online at www.stephenpuleo.com.

Table of Contents

Author’s Note

Prologue: Isaac’s Demons

Part One: A Monster in Our Midst

1. Deadline on the Waterfront
2. Neighborhood Weeping
3. Along the Gulf Stream
4. War and Anarchy
5. Heavy Load

Part Two: Waves of Terror

6. Before . . .
7. Engulfed!
8. “I Am Prepared to Meet my God”
9. Darkening Skies

Part Three: David vs. Goliath

10. “One of the Worst Catastrophes”
11. Factor of Safety
12. “A Sordid Story”

List of Deceased
Bibliographic Essay
Afterword to the Anniversary Edition
From the B&N Reads Blog

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