A Crack in the Edge of the World

A Crack in the Edge of the World

America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906

By Author and Historian Simon Winchester

Hardback | ISBN 9780060571993

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In the early morning hours of April 18, 1906, San Francisco and its surrounding area were rocked by an earthquake that registered 8.25 on the Richter scale. Lasting just over a minute, the quake destroyed 490 city blocks, toppled 25,000 buildings, broke open gas mains and cut off electric power lines throughout the Bay Area. But the earthquake was just the beginning. In its wake, fires ravaged the city for three days, leaving chaos and horror behind. At least 450 people were killed, and more than 250,000 left homeless.

In A Crack in the Edge of the World, the New York Times best-selling author of The Professor and the Madman and Krakatoa examines not only what happened in Northern California in 1906, but what has been learned since then about the cause of the earthquake. Simon Winchester, an Oxford-trained geologist, explores the impact of the 1906 earthquake from a historic and scientific point of view, and explains why this disaster is almost certain to happen again.

Simon Winchester was a geologist at Oxford and worked in Africa and on offshore rigs before becoming a full-time, globe-trotting foreign correspondent and writer. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including Krakatoa, The Map That Changed the World, and The Professor and the Madman.

"Here are not only the scientific, geological, human and political stories behind the San Francisco earthquake, but also a sense of scale and a lyrical vision of [the earth]. Winchester's deeper message is of the interconnectedness of this fragile planet, suspended in the blackness of space, which rings like an immense brass bell when trauma strikes. Read it and shiver." -- Glasgow Herald


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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9780060571993
Publish/Release date:
Publisher: Harper
Number of pages: 463
Width (mm): 163
Height (mm): 241
Depth (mm): 34

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