Read The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet 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.
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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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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.
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...
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...
August 06, 2017
Growing up almost right on top of the New Madrid Fault, earthquakes were always a fear tucked into the back of peoples' minds. Even though the fault is overdue for a massive quake, fears like tornados and flooding were always more imminent problems. Now that I've read The Great Quake, part of me...
August 08, 2017
Review in progress
Review written: August 2-8, 2017
Star Rating: ★★★★
Heat Rating: N/A
An Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book was received free via Penguin's First to Read (a lottery) for an honest review.
The Great Quake is an interesting, informative, accessible, and utterly fascinating book...