American Disasters: 201 Calamities That Shook the Nation

Ballard C. Campbell

American Disasters: 201 Calamities That Shook the Nation cover


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This book offers a compelling exploration of more than 200 events that have devastated our country.Disasters, calamities, and crises have profoundly shaped American history - from the "starving time" at Jamestown, the smallpox epidemic during the Revolutionary War, and the "year without a summer" in 1816 to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, ... more ┬╗the San Francisco earthquake, and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Not only have these catastrophic events upended lives and wreaked untold havoc, they have often transformed society, demarcating one era from another and generating vast social change.Broadly defined to encompass a huge array of events that have altered American life, and shaped the nation's consciousness, "American Disasters" provides a thrilling and informative account of U.S. history.Presented chronologically, this comprehensive reference covers more than 200 of the most significant, life-altering disasters from 1492 to the present, including hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, fires, massacres, riots, assassinations, rebellions, shipwrecks, collisions, epidemics, plagues, depressions, explosions, tornadoes, blizzards, poisonings, scandals, bombings, bridge collapses, environmental calamities, and much, much more. Written in narrative form and signed by leading historians, each article features a fact box highlighting the major details of the event and an engaging "you-are-there" format, which allows readers a firsthand look at people living through the experience.