Free eBook Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 – Biorganicenergy.co

Around noon on January a group of firefighters was playing cards in Boston s North End when they heard a tremendous crash It was like roaring surf, one of them said later Like a runaway two horse team smashing through a fence, said another A third firefighter jumped up from his chair to look out a window Oh my God he shouted to the other men, Run Afoot tall steel tank filled withmillion gallons of molasses had just collapsed on Boston s waterfront, disgorging its contents as afoot high wave of molasses that at its outset traveled atmiles an hour It demolished wooden homes, even the brick fire station The number of dead wasn t known for days It would be years before a landmark court battle determined who was responsible for the disaster I absolutely loved this book What struck me most was the fact that Stephen Puleo gave the molasses flood a number of human faces The majority of the book is narrative by and about the people involved in the flood The rest of the book is a chronicle of the time period A huge part of this book is about showing the world of the mid 1910s and into the twenties, spanning the anarchist and labor movements, World War I, the rise of big business, and prohibition Many of the quotes in Dark Tide reso I absolutely loved this book What struck me most was the fact that Stephen Puleo gave the molasses flood a number of human faces The majority of the book is narrative by and about the people involved in the flood The rest of the book is a chronicle of the time period A huge part of this book is about showing the world of the mid 1910s and into the twenties, spanning the anarchist and labor movements, World War I, the rise of big business, and prohibition Many of the quotes in Dark Tide resonate today on topics from white flight and xenophobia racism to the growing divide between the haves and the have nots I d highly recommend this book to anyone who d like to learnabout American history, uncommon disasters, corporate greed, Boston, or just an interesting read about human nature I read this from cover to cover and would highly suggest the paperback In it, the author shares a letter that a reader sent him from her step father It s some great stuff I couldn t help but be incredulous about a molasses flood I was doing research into what books I wanted to read for my Winter 2013 Disaster Read, which I originally intended to be about natural disasters, but quickly morphed into disasters in general, and I stumbled across this book Lo and behold a week later it went onto the Kindle Daily Deal and I snatched it up It s almost likeknew eyes dart back and forth quickly I originally had this idea of the molasses cornflake lava tha I couldn t help but be incredulous about a molasses flood I was doing research into what books I wanted to read for my Winter 2013 Disaster Read, which I originally intended to be about natural disasters, but quickly morphed into disasters in general, and I stumbled across this book Lo and behold a week later it went onto the Kindle Daily Deal and I snatched it up It s almost likeknew eyes dart back and forth quickly I originally had this idea of the molasses cornflake lava that they used in the old Godzilla movies I had no thought of a tidal wave bearing down on people at speeds of 35 miles per hour.Ok I have now stopped and started writing this review three times I ll say this reading about the Molasses Flood, the Cascade Avalanche, and the Hinckley Forest fires is really making me reconsider my stance on corporate freedoms vs government regulation In the end I don t trust anybody, I think we need business to watch government, we need the government to watch businesses, but MOST importantly we need an actively involved citizenry watching both of them There, please keep trolling to a minimum It s hard to read through history and not realize that man, really shitty people are often in charge of things, damn that Peter Principle and the Bottom Line It s also great to read through history and realize how many notable and amazing people there are in each generation, that are just trudging ahead with life until extraordinary circumstances call on them to beThere were three things about this book that really hurt its rating 1 The captions on the photos which were excellent finds almost always gave away what was going to happen in the chapter Now, I know its history, but this is the only book on this subject, it s relatively hard to find out information on it, so there is some amount of mystery as to who dies, how the court rules, etc That mystery was destroyed by the fact that a chapter would start with a picture, and the caption always gave away the ending No spoilers please, even in history books 2 It was repetitive I was really interested in all the stories about the Italian immigrants, but at several points the author restated the same statistic twice, or nearly the same paragraph as in a previous chapter, and it sort of felt cumbersome in the beginning 3 The book didn t start with a clear thesis I don t normally care if a history book starts with a clear thesis, sometimes I enjoy being taken along for the ride, but with the plentiful side stories about anarchists, WWI soldiers, etc., and thesis clearly tying these thigns all together in the beginning would have been beneficial Yes, by the middle of the story it was entirely clear that the author was describing the Anarchist turmoil because they were blamed by USIA eyeroll for the bombing of the tank, BUT in the beginning, that could have beenclear and would ve made the initial chapters on the subject seemcoherent.Still I learned an extraordinary amount the Anarchist reign of terror was something I m not very familiar with, nor was I familiar with the antipathy towards Italian immigrants there are strong correlations here between Italians and the assimilation of our modern day immigrants , and really, outside of cooking I had no idea about the practical and industrial applications of molasses For all its weaknesses, it s a very interesting book The author s strength is in the retelling of the damages and the loss of the low wage earners in the area He can write very compellingly of their trials during and after the flood You sure to learn an unexpected amount And finally I leave you with this USIA this is dedicated to you To read my review of my Natural Disaster Themed read which included 10 different disaster books click link Here This historical event is yet another example of the truthiness of Hanlon s Razor Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity In this case, a cowardly middle manager with no relevant experience cuts corners to please his clueless bosses, constructing a huge, dangerous, leaky tower for molasses in a crowded slum He disregards direct pleas from people who work at the structure and feel that it is dangerous, insisting that he, the middle manager, knows better Howe This historical event is yet another example of the truthiness of Hanlon s Razor Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity In this case, a cowardly middle manager with no relevant experience cuts corners to please his clueless bosses, constructing a huge, dangerous, leaky tower for molasses in a crowded slum He disregards direct pleas from people who work at the structure and feel that it is dangerous, insisting that he, the middle manager, knows better However, the middle manager is sufficiently concerned to order the tower painted the color of molasses, so the extent of the leaking is not so obvious When disaster inevitably strikes and innocent also poor, foreign, powerless people are killed, the manager s organization goes into full spin control mode, wrapping itself in the flag and blaming shadowy foreign terrorists Insert your own rueful comment aboutrecent world events here Meanwhile, the organization acquires the services of the best lawyers and experts that money can buy, just in case.Descriptions of this incident often contain the word curious , because we re not used to thinking of molasses as being as dangerous as, say, water or fire Water looks harmless in the glass, and fire seems fairly friendly at the end of a match, but we ve all seen evidence of the power of these elements if you re fortunate, only on You Tube or in the movies The few souls who have witnessed a wall of molasses several stories tall devouring a whole neighborhood have passed away, so the rest of us are free today to envision molasses as a vaguely ridiculous gelatinous substance oozing harmlessly from a tiny jar So cute Not at all like a nightmare of brown sludge pounding down the city streets with the velocity of a speeding car, drowning people and pulverizing structures unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time One of the unlikely heroes in this book turns out to be Hugh Ogden, the Boston judge for the subsequent court case against the owners of the tank On first examination, he seems like the type who might be sympathetic to the foreign terrorist argument, meaning, he was a strict law and order patriot and veteran Lawyers for the owners attempted to appeal to Ogden s presumed political bias I speculate that Judge Ogden realized that getting at the truth of the case, even if it contradicted his political sympathies, was the best service he could do for his country This he did, finding for the families of those killed and injured I hope that his spirit continues to live on in judges today.Recommended in The Given Day by Dennis Lehane I liked, but not loved, this accessibly written book I had no idea that there had been such an event, and the thought of it was pretty horrific For all neo cons, this is what happens when industry and corporations are left to regulate themselves There is a reason for inspections and oversight of big business To think of the corners that were cut in the name of saving money and profit at the expense of lives is completely deplorable Also, the cost of the clean up must have been astronomical I liked, but not loved, this accessibly written book I had no idea that there had been such an event, and the thought of it was pretty horrific For all neo cons, this is what happens when industry and corporations are left to regulate themselves There is a reason for inspections and oversight of big business To think of the corners that were cut in the name of saving money and profit at the expense of lives is completely deplorable Also, the cost of the clean up must have been astronomical the corporation should have been charged for every penny So, why did I give it 3 and not 5 stars First, as a history this is really flawed Puleo continually gets into the heads of the people who were involved in this tragedy and imagines their thoughts, feelings, and otherwise makes attributions that are just that imagined That is not history it is historical fiction Second, as a historian, he should be a bitof a fact checker To cite one example, he talks about a victim whose hair turned white overnight as a result of the accident Heeeellllooo This is physiologically not possible It is a myth Hair is dead tissue, and while hair becomes white, what is already on your head does not Third, he moralizes and inserts his opinion a bit too much for a historian in my opinion He makes assertions regarding Italian Americans and their reluctance to organize, a stance that changes as a result of this tragedy While this may have been a tipping point to community organization, the world does not work quite this simply, and he should really have provided a citation or two to support this contention.While this was somewhat melodramatic historical fiction, it was by no means a history in the true sense of the word Read it for entertainment, but read with a big grain of salt