Great Earthquake and Firestorms of 1906 How San Francisco Nearly Destroyed Itself

ISBN-10: 0520248201
ISBN-13: 9780520248205
Edition: 2006
List price: $24.95 Buy it from $3.00
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Description: The first indication of the prolonged terror that followed the 1906 earthquake occurred when a ship steaming off San Francisco's Golden Gate "seemed to jump clear out of the water." This gripping account of the earthquake, the devastating firestorms  More...

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Book details

List price: $24.95
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 4/3/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 448
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.628
Language: English

The first indication of the prolonged terror that followed the 1906 earthquake occurred when a ship steaming off San Francisco's Golden Gate "seemed to jump clear out of the water." This gripping account of the earthquake, the devastating firestorms that followed, and the city's subsequent reconstruction vividly shows how, after the shaking stopped, humans, not the forces of nature, nearly destroyed San Francisco in a remarkable display of simple ineptitude and power politics. Bolstered by previously unpublished eyewitness accounts and photographs, this definitive history of a fascinating city caught in the grip of the country's greatest urban disaster will forever change conventional understanding of an event one historian called "the very epitome of bigness." Philip Fradkin takes us onto the city's ruptured streets and into its exclusive clubs, 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 how an elite oligarchy failed to serve the needs of ordinary people, the heroic efforts of obscure citizens, the long-lasting psychological effects, and how all these events ushered in a period of unparalleled civic upheaval. This compelling look at how people and institutions function in great catastrophes demonstrates just how deeply earthquake, fires, hurricanes, floods, wars, droughts, or acts of terrorism can shape us.

Preface
BEFORE Beginnings The Tale of Two Cities Science, Politics, and San Francisco The Hotel and the Opera House
DURING Wednesday, April 18, 1906 Thursday, April 19, 1906 Friday, April 20, 1906
AFTER The Relief Effort The Upbuilding of San Francisco The Search for Understandin?
The Culture of Disaster Disaster and Race
The Politics of Disaster The Fat Lady Sings
Acknowledgments
Notes
Index

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