A groundbreaking account of the cataclysmic hurricane of 1938 and its devastating impact on New England’s inland forests The hurricane that pummeled the northeastern United States on September 21, 1938, was New England’s most damaging weather event ever. To call it “New England’s Katrina” might be to understate its power. Without warning, the storm plowed into Long Island and New England, killing hundreds of people and destroying roads, bridges, dams, and buildings that stood in its path. Not yet spent, the hurricane then raced inland, maintaining high winds into Vermont and New Hampshire and uprooting millions of acres of forest. This book is the first to investigate how the hurricane of ’38 transformed New England, bringing about social and ecological changes that can still be observed these many decades later. The hurricane’s impact was erratic—some swaths of forest were destroyed while others nearby remained unscathed; some stricken forests retain their prehurricane character, others have been transformed. Stephen Long explores these contradictions, drawing on survivors’ vivid memories of the storm and its aftermath and on his own familiarity with New England’s forests, where he discovers clues to the storm’s legacies even now. Thirty-Eight is a gripping story of a singularly destructive hurricane. It also provides important and insightful information on how best to prepare for the inevitable next great storm.
|Publisher:||Yale University Press|
|Product dimensions:||8.30(w) x 5.80(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Stephen Long is founder and former editor of Northern Woodlands magazine and author of More Than a Woodlot: Getting the Most from Your Family Forest. He lives in Corinth, VT.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Stephen Long's THIRTY-EIGHT is a remarkable portrait of how the events of a single day devastated New England. Long tells a dramatic tale and simultaneously explains the details of what happened. The hurricane itself may have been brief, but the consequences of the storm took years to unfold. Stephen Long views this event and its aftermath through multiple lenses: meteorology, forest ecology, social science, and land management. His technical explanations are fascinating even to a layperson. His stories about the human-interest side of the hurricane are impressive -- often quoting from first-hand reports, including those by survivors whom Long interviewed himself -- and these tales are often moving. Best of all, Long writes with stylistic grace comparable to John McPhee's at the height of his powers. But THIRTY-EIGHT is important well beyond being a first-rate historical and ecological tour de force: it's also a vivid reminder of what the Northeast may well face again in our own era of climate disruption.