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An Empty Tomb Where Roses Bloom: The Story of Lataine's Ring

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3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  194 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
75 years ago on March 18, 1937 around 3:17 pm, one of the most modern school buildings in America exploded in a rural Texas community decimating the student population and destroying innocent lives. Considered the worst public school disaster in American history, controversial theories surrounding this tragedy are still debated to this day. The event sparked changes that s ...more
Hardcover, 4th Edition of "An American Holocaust: The Story of Lataine's Ring, 200 pages
Published February 21st 2012 by Lulu (first published August 2011)
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Kerry Barger
May 16, 2012 Kerry Barger added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
"I remember being thrown up in the air like a toy... I keep turning and spinning. Then darkness."

The attack on the World Trade Center in New York claimed almost 3,000 lives and changed America forever. A little-remembered explosion of a school in the 1930s resulted in just over 300 deaths, yet it, too, had a tremendous impact on society. Barger revives the story of one of the nation's most poignant tragedies in his highly-moving tale.

The school in New London was considered one of the most moder
...more
Norma Harrell
Sep 15, 2011 Norma Harrell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is really one of the best reads I have ever had... I just want to encourage you to read it and tell you friends about it if you feel the same way. I don't think you'll regret it.
Cathy
Feb 10, 2012 Cathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-books
I got this title free for Kindle.
Do you think the awful smell of natural gas is normal? Well, it isn't. It's because of the addition of a chemical called mercaptan that is put into natural gas specifically to make the smell recognizable. Natural gas has no odor without it.
Where you ever curious why natural gas was made to smell like this? I confess I never thought about it but this story tells the reason.

March 18, 1937 was the height of the oil/gas boom in Texas. New London, Texas was the site o
...more
Judie Dooley
Mar 01, 2012 Judie Dooley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. Kerry Barger did a great job of telling this horrendous story. I liked the way way he followed a number of families telling how they survived (or didn't survive)
the tragedy. I find it hard to believe that in my 71 yrs I never heard about this fire. If that were to happen now it would immediately be on the new across the country. I will be waiting for March18th to see if there is any mention of it on the news. Kerry you did a great job of bringing this to the public .
...more
Amanda
Apr 04, 2012 Amanda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read the blurb on this book and thought the story sounded interesting. While I still think the story is interesting, I was not at all impressed with the writing. The author spent too much space on other national and world events that were happening at the time of the story without tying them to the events of this story. I can understand setting the stage, but there was not an effort to tie them together.

The story was told in a documentary style. I don't have a problem with this style, but it
...more
Sue
Apr 04, 2012 Sue rated it really liked it
Shelves: won-on-goodreads
I won this book from here on Goodreads and was excited when I recieved it. I glanced through it prior to reading it and thought it was going to be a rather bland tale about the explosion at the school. Instead it surprised me by being a very touching story.
In it the author writes about this tragedy as told by her grandmother who was there when it happened. She gives us a look into the past as only a survivor can.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read about true history. I have 4 frien
...more
Kristin
A very well-written story about a national tragedy that, like so many national tragedies in the US, seems to have been completely forgotten despite its scale, long-term effects and sheer horror. It's also a look into the lives of the families so grievously effected by the consolidated school explosion in New London, Texas in 1937. The school exploded due to a massive natural gas leak that went completely undetected due to the fact that natural gas has no odor, taste or color. This disaster is th ...more
Sarah
Dec 08, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This was a very powerful book about an extremely emotional tragedy. I definitely had tears in my eyes after reading this and just experiencing the book.

I felt connected to these children and their families by the author's format in telling the story. We got into all the individual's heads and see the events through their eyes and thoughts. That takes a special talent of writing, let me tell you. Someone who can pull off a 10 year old girl and then do a 180 and get into the head of her father has
...more
Elice Mcneely
Jul 28, 2015 Elice Mcneely rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Somber Book

I've always heard of the New London school that blew up in 1937 but really didn't know anything else about I

This is in my neck of the woods where I grew up...granted not at that time but I can't believe it's not spoken about even now...or even more so when I was growing up in the 80s and 90s.

One thing I can say....going to see the museum is now something I have to do

Such a sad tragedy that occurred and devastated a small town
Joan
Jun 27, 2016 Joan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow!

It's amazing how such a horrible tragedy could have occurred and that nowadays it is virtually unknown. I remembered being told about natural gas additives, but no one ever told me why.

You learn about all these people and their lives and wants and dreams and then, it's as if someone just hit the stop button in mid breadth. I'm still in shock at the horror, and I'm glad steps were taken to insure it never happens again. It's also important to remember, so we won't forget why these safeties mu
...more
Angela
I skipped ahead to the actual tragedy and then skimmed the ending. This book is not one that held my attention, unfortunately. The topic was boring to me, oil and natural gases and the like went RIGHT over my head. Still, I wanted to know what happened so I skipped ahead. It is a shame that it takes these occurences to change the ways things are done, and it's sad that some important stories are virtually unknown. I never thought twice about why gases smelled the way they do...it's sad that it t ...more
Alisa
Mar 24, 2012 Alisa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Although the devastation of this event in history was terrible and changed the way gas is used in homes and schools, the author compares it to 9/11, which I find strange. What happened at the school was not terrorism nor did it have the impact or destruction of 9/11. Not that the lives lost were not as precious or the loss felt by the community any less painful, it was an unfortunate accident, not a deliberate, calculating murder of thousands of innocent people, perpetrated by religious fanatici ...more
Georgina
May 29, 2012 Georgina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I knew very little about this event before I read the book and only downloaded it because it sounded interesting and was free. But I was very surprised with what I found. It was very detailed and heartfelt and I loved how it moved between the different stories so that you really got a feel of how many people it affected and just how normal everything had been going before it happened. Not only the story itself but the use of the appendix at the back to add extra information, for example a speech ...more
Leigh
Jul 07, 2013 Leigh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before reading this true story I had never heard of the tragedy that happened in New London, Texas on March 18th 1937. This book truly touched me and the vivid descriptions of the people and events leading up to, including and after that day were astounding. I could feel myself there and the pain, horror and devastation that took place. As a parent of an 8 year old I couldn't help thinking, "What if this had happened to me and my son?" This is a great book and I wish that more people knew about ...more
Jan
Mar 23, 2015 Jan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Personal story about a horrible but little known event. Why does natural gas have smell added? Here is the answer. Well researched and written story.
Michelle Kidwell
I confess I knew little to nothing about this tragedy but this book was a powerful reminder of a horrible tragedy. Well written and heart wrenching. ..
Julie
Apr 13, 2012 Julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My husband's mother's brother died in this school accident. We have heard it mentioned so many times through the years. It was such a surprise to see that someone had actually written about it. It was very interesting to find out more. For those reasons I was very glad to have read it. The author did a good job when reporting facts and things. Other parts of the writing felt a bit awkward. But I am glad that someone chronicled it. And it was very interesting to know that it was because of this t ...more
Laura Dalton Wilson
Horrifying. A fascinating glimpse into history but a tragedy nonetheless. This event will stay with me.
Cinisajoy
Jan 08, 2014 Cinisajoy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, dnf
This book is categorized in history but it is inaccurate and while the characters were real, the author made up every line that was said. They were all buried in Pleasant Hill cemetery between March 20 and March 25th, 1937.
The explosion was very real but the broken gas line was in the school, not outside like this author puts it.
Melissa
Feb 05, 2012 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book hit me in the heart and had me in tears. told by a member of one of families affected, with stories from survivors passed down a couple generations and verified this book tells the story of a school explosion in 1937 that didn't make it into history book I read. it happened in New London, Texas, a gas leak in one of the first schools to be heated by natural gas lead the world wide regulations that put mercaptan in all natural gas lines. a must read for those who are interested in our c ...more
Eric
Jun 09, 2013 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful written but tragic story about a small school in New London Texas back in 1937. The school happened to be build over a natural gas field and unfortunately blew up destroying the entire school killing over 200 students. This incident helps bring about additives being placed in the pipes containing natural gas to help release leakage.

Told in story form this book will be enjoyed by all. It helps us remember technologically where were are now in safety requirements in schools and many ot
...more
Diane
Apr 04, 2014 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be slow. Found it hard to keep my interest.
I would give it a two and half star. Just for the history behind
the story I give it a 3.
Barbara
Aug 18, 2012 Barbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! I just finished this free book from Goodreads and I am so glad that I got to read it. Mr. Barger brought to light about this tradegey that should have never happened to a small town and those families who lived there. I never ever heard about this until this book and at one point I had to stop and go do something else because as a parent this would have been very devasting to learn your child or spouse was gone in an instant. Please read this book it is so worth it.
Patrick S.
Feb 04, 2016 Patrick S. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definately worth a read!
Cindy
May 07, 2016 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This was a very touching book about a terrible event that I don't think many people know about. The gas explosion in New London, Texas was a tragedy that lead to the additive in natural gas to make it smell so you know if there is a gas leak. I appreciate the author's compassion for all of the victims and survivors, not just for his relative who perished in the explosion.
Janet C.
Jan 12, 2013 Janet C. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in historical events with regards to fire in America
Recommended to Janet C. by: n/a
Oh my gosh, what a horrific tragedy to read about! In 1937 in New London, Texas, a school exploded and took the lives of over 300 children and adults. The author told the story with much detail about the event and included eye witness accounts. This is a sad book to read but well worth the time.
Ann237
Jul 14, 2013 Ann237 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OMG, what a awful time in these people's lives! I cannot even begin to imagine the horror that was experienced, the author did a great job
Describing the horror that took place, as well as the intense emotion experienced by survivors, families, reporters, rescue workers.
Christy
Feb 10, 2014 Christy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: won-own
I won this book on goodreads. I enjoyed the book, even though I felt myself constantly cringing knowing it was leading up to a school explosion. The book not only teaches us a part of history, it also gives us some of the personal stories involved.
Holly
Aug 24, 2012 Holly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book as a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway and it was pretty sad. It was something that I did not have much knowledge of so I did learn something but it is not something I would probably read again.
jgyweniverel
I remember learning about the horror of what happened to the Jewish faith during war. I feel that getting stories about the atrocities that happened, I pray, it will help us never to repeat such horrific things again.
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From the Author: "I am a native Texan and proud of it. My family's heritage in the state predates the American Civil War when they came to Texas on horses and in covered wagons to homestead the land. One of my great grandparents was a Native American Blackfoot, a genetic fact that some believe explains my i
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