Wolfner :: Recommended Readings :: Adult Bibliographies :: Disasters: Nonfiction
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Here is a list of books about real-life catastrophes and tragedies, compiled by Reader Advisor Paul Mathews.
Aboman's Guide to Survival & Self-Reliance: Practical Skills for Interesting Times by Joseph A. Bigley.
Advice on how to deal with challenges presented by unexpected equipment breakdowns, weather disasters, and other such events. The manual contains information on preparing for emergencies, troubleshooting household problems, and maintaining health through alternative medicine and herbal remedies. Also highlights wilderness survival skills. RC 56439.
Disaster! The Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906 by Dan Kurrzman.
Recreates the historic California catastrophe by recounting personal tragedies that occurred during the destruction of San Francisco. Describes the social scene the night before the earthquake and the reactions of citizens, government officials, and soldiers during the following three days of fire and chaos. RC 53784.
Fire on the Mountain: The True Story of the South Canyon Fire by John N. Maclean.
An account of the 1994 forest fire on Colorado's Storm King Mountain, which claimed the lives of fourteen elite firefighters, including four women. Reconstructs the human errors that compounded the natural disaster, mistakes made during the investigations that followed, and lessons to be learned. Some strong language. RC 50200.
Great Lakes Shipwrecks & Survivals by William Ratigan.
History of maritime disasters on each of the North American inland seas: Lakes Michigan, Huron, Erie, Superior, and Ontario. Describes how vessels and their crews functioned during catastrophic storms. A separate section details the November 1975 wreck of the cargo ship Edmund Fitzgerald. RC 47621.
Nature at War by Hal Butler.
Accounts of thirteen devastating natural disasters which hit the United States and the Caribbean. Includes earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes, blizzards tornadoes, and floods. RC 15280.
Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America by John M. Barry.
An account of the catastrophic flood of 1927, in which at least one thousand Americans were killed and another million displaced by the swollen Mississippi River. Traces early engineering efforts at river control, which set the stage for the disaster. Explores the flood's far-reaching social, political, and economic implications. RC 46388.
Rudy Giuliani: Emperor of the City by Andrew Kirtzman.
The administration of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani in a reporter's account that includes the destruction at the World Trade Center. Describes the ex-prosecutor's policies, personality, bitter rivalries, and family problems. Illustrates how the city recovered from decades of crime and corruption. Some strong language. RC 54285.
Shackleton's Forgotten Men: The Untold Tragedy of the Endurance Epic by Lennard Bickel.
In 1915 Shackleton's expedition was marooned in ice on one side of Antarctica. Meanwhile, on the other side a small team of men and dogs persevered to supply food depots for Shackleton's expected transcontinental crossing. Relates the attendant tragedies of the 2,000-mile sledge journey to fulfill an obligation of honor. RC 51969.
Twin Towers: The Life of New York City's World Trade Center by Angus K. Gillespie.
A history of the World Trade Center, written before the destruction of the twin towers on September 11, 2001. Recounts how the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey first conceived of the complex and how the plans were executed. Includes an account of a day in the center's life. RC 53309.