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Braving the Elements: The Stormy History of American Weather
by David Laskin (Goodreads Author)
Nowhere in the world is weather as volatile and powerful as it is in North America. Scorching heat in the Southwest, hurricanes on the Atlantic coast, tornadoes in the Plains, blizzards in the mountains: Every area of the country has vastly different weather, and vastly different cultures as a result. Braving the Elements is David Laskin's delightful and fascinating hist ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published June 16th 1997 by Anchor
(first published 1996)
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If you are interested in weather, American history and science, this is the book for you! Laskin does a great job telling the story of different weather events in North American history against the back drop of the technological inventions and improvements that have created the excellent weather forecasting we have today. I know sometimes today's weather forecasting seem to leave a lot to be desired, but compared to what our ancestors had, it is absolutely amazing. Laskin's book is easily read, ...more
Nov 18, 2013 Becky rated it liked it
I've been reading a LOT about disasters lately - I read about the Hinckley Forest Fire and the Black Blizzards of the Dust Bowl, both a combination of bad business practices and natures terrible fury; the Children's Blizzard, an unforeseen storm (akin to 2013 polar vortex) that left hundreds of frozen bodies scattered on the prairie; the Molasses Flood (not natural but couldnt help myself); America's deadliest avalanche that sent a train full of passenger careening down a ravine; the Perfect Sto ...more
This was a really interesting look the the history of weather in our country, from the earliest Native American settlements through the impact of Benjamin Franklin, the dust bowl of the Depression years, and the advent of technology from mid- to late twentieth century, concluding with an introduction to the National Weather Service. Great stuff!
Finally got to this one after having it checked out on and off for about a year. It's a little out of date, having been written 26 years ago, but the middle section is still good. The last chapter on global warming kinda reads like a futuristic flying car. It doesn't work as well as it did initially. Wish there was a little more about the weather itself, but overall not a bad read.
Mar 26, 2017 Mary Shafer rated it it was amazing
Seriously, I just cannot say enough about how much I like David Laskin's writing, at least about weather. Haven't read his other stuff yet, but if it's anything like this book or The Children's Blizzard, it must be awesome. Now granted, I am a total weather geek, but his are the kind of books I can start reading in the morning and find myself still glued to in late afternoon, not having ventured off the recliner since I started. I specifically wait to read his books until I have such uninterrupt ...more
Born in Brooklyn and raised in Great Neck, New York, I grew up hearing stories that my immigrant Jewish grandparents told about the “old country” (Russia) that they left at the turn of the last century. When I was a teenager, my mother’s parents began making yearly trips to visit our relatives in Israel, and stories about the Israeli family sifted down to me as well. What I never heard growing up ...moreMore about David Laskin...