The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet by Henry Fountain

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The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet Read Online Free - In the tradition of Erik Larson's Isaac's Storm, a riveting narrative about the biggest earthquake in recorded history in North America--the 1964 Alaskan earthquake that demolished the city of Valdez and obliterated the coastal village of Chenega--and the scientist sent to look for geological clues to explain the dynamics of earthquakes, who helped to confirm the then controversial theory of plate tectonics.
On March 27, 1964, at 5:36 p.m., the biggest earthquake ever recorded in North America--and the second biggest ever in the world, measuring 9.2 on the Richter scale--struck Alaska, devastating coastal towns and villages and killing more than 130 people in what was then a relatively sparsely populated region. In a riveting tale about the almost unimaginable brute force of nature, New York Times science journalist Henry Fountain, in his first trade book, re-creates the lives of the villagers and townspeople living in Chenega, Anchorage, and Valdez; describes the sheer beauty of the geology of the region, with its towering peaks and 20-mile-long glaciers; and reveals the impact of the quake on the towns, the buildings, and the lives of the inhabitants. George Plafker, a geologist for the U.S. Geological Survey with years of experience scouring the Alaskan wilderness, is asked to investigate the Prince William Sound region in the aftermath of the quake, to better understand its origins. His work confirmed the then controversial theory of plate tectonics that explained how and why such deadly quakes occur, and how we can plan for the next one.

Title : The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1101904062
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 0 pages


Montzalee rated it ★★★★☆

June 07, 2017

The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet by Henry Fountain is a wonderful history and science book that I enjoyed thoroughly. Two subjects I love and earthquakes are exciting and scary at the same time. It was interesting to find out ab...

Vicki rated it ★★★★★

October 14, 2017

When I saw this cover, I knew I wanted to read more about the great quake in Alaska on March 27, 1964. The earthquake that I can remember seeing the images of houses lifted in the air while roads sunk several feet below right down the street. The subtitle is How the Biggest Earthquake in North Am...

Nancy rated it ★★★★☆

July 23, 2017

When I was growing up in the early 1960s my grandfather was corresponding with Maurice Ewing and William Donn of the Lamont Geological Observatory. Gramps had been interested in their work since 1958 when he read a Harper's Magazine article by Betty Friedan called The Coming Ice Age about their r...

happy rated it ★★★★☆

January 03, 2018

I first saw the author of this book on CSPAN's BookTV, ( and thought it sounded interesting. Also, I can remember watching the news coverage of this on my family's black and white TV way back when. In this narrative the author does not just cover what up t...

Michael rated it ★★★★☆

June 11, 2017

I received this book through a Good Reads "First Reads" Give-away. A very entertaining read, Fountain covers not just the earthquake that struck Alaska on March 27, 1964, but also explores the evolution of the theory of plate tectonics and the history of several of the communities (e.g., Anchorag...

Literary Chic rated it ★★★★☆

July 16, 2017

Other than required earth science books in school, I have never read anything related to geology. I've never found earthquakes particularly fascinating so I'm not sure why I signed up for this book's Goodreads Giveaway. However, I was pleasantly surprised with a great book on the biggest earthqua...

David rated it ★★★☆☆

July 09, 2017

A fine book, well-written, with interesting characters and human drama. This might be a good present for teenaged aspiring scientists, but only if the scientist's parents don't mind you putting ideas into their heads about heading out to remote areas of the world which, even today, may not have a...

Courtney rated it ★★★★☆

June 24, 2017

I picked this up to read because of my intense (and many times irrational) fear of earthquakes -- figuring this might help ease some of my terror by providing some scientific background and explanation of earthquakes. While it was a great read, and I was absolutely fascinated by everything I read...

Suzze rated it ★★★☆☆

July 18, 2017

Thanks to Crown and Edelweiss for the advance copy. I was somewhat familiar with the 1964 Alaskan quake, as a friend lived through it, but it was interesting to hear more of the geology and geophysics behind it. Rather technical in parts, but worth the read.

Marlene rated it ★★★★☆

August 18, 2017

Originally published at Reading Reality The heart of the book The Great Quake, is literally the great quake itself. The narrative, based on interviews with survivors and with the geologist who ended up making the quake his life’s work (and a bit vice versa) come literally at the 50% mark of the bo...

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