The Chemistry of Fire: Essays

The Chemistry of Fire: Essays

by Laurence Gonzales
The Chemistry of Fire: Essays

The Chemistry of Fire: Essays

by Laurence Gonzales


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"Gonzales (Flight 232), a former National Geographic feature writer, proves himself a chronicler par excellence of nature—including of the human variety—in this excellent essay collection. The psychological nuance and vivid detail throughout will dazzle readers."
Publishers Weekly starred review, July 2020

In 1989, Laurence Gonzales was a young writer with his first book of essays, The Still Point, just published by the University of Arkansas Press. Imagine his surprise, one winter day, to receive a letter from none other than Kurt Vonnegut. “The excellence of your writing and the depth of your reporting saddened me, in a way,” Vonnegut wrote, “reminding me yet again what a tiny voice facts and reason have in this era of wrap-around, mega-decibel rock-and-roll.”

Several books, many articles, and a growing list of awards later, Gonzales — known for taking us to enthralling extremes - is still writing with excellence and depth. In this latest collection, we go from the top of Mount Washington and ”the worst weather in the world,” to 12,000 feet beneath the ocean, where a Naval Intelligence Officer discovers the Titanic using the government’s own spy equipment. We experience night assaults with the 82nd Airborne Division, the dynamiting of the 100-foot snowpack on Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, a trip to the International Space Station, the crash of an airliner to the bottom of the Everglades, and more.

The University of Arkansas Press is proud to bring these stories to a new era, stories that, as with all of Gonzales’s work, “fairly sing with a voice all their own.” (Chicago Sun-Times)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781682261514
Publisher: University of Arkansas Press
Publication date: 11/20/2020
Edition description: 1
Pages: 248
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Laurence Gonzales is the author of numerous books, including the best-selling Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why. He has won two National Magazine Awards and the Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. He was an appointed scholar at the Santa Fe Institute from 2016 to 2020. He lives in Evanston, Illinois.

Table of Contents

1 Mount Washington 3

2 Change Redemption 15

3 Stealing Titanic 41

4 The Zendo, the Dojo, and the Superbike 63

5 Hill Fever 95

6 The All-Seeing Eye 111

7 The Blowdown 117

8 ValuJet Crash 127

9 Spring Opening 147

10 Johnny Winter 157

11 Space Station 161

12 The Cult of War 177

13 Ballerina with a Gun 199

14 The Chemistry of Fire 213

Acknowledgments 229

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