A New York Times Bestseller
A Chicago Tribune Editor’s Choice
In this gripping narrative history, the beloved NBC weather personality vividly brings to life the Great Gulf Hurricane of 1900, the deadliest natural disaster in American history.
On the afternoon of September 8, 1900, two-hundred-mile-per-hour winds and fifteen-foot waves slammed into Galveston, the prosperous and growing port city on Texas’ Gulf Coast. By dawn the next day, when the storm had passed, the city that existed just hours before was gone. Shattered, grief-stricken survivors emerged to witness a level of destruction never before seen: eight thousand corpses littered the streets and were buried under the massive wreckage. Rushing water had lifted buildings from their foundations, smashing them into pieces, while intensive winds had upended girders and trestles, driving them through house walls and into sidewalks. In less than twenty-four hours, one storm destroyed a major American metropolis—and awakened a nation to the terrifying power of nature.
The Story of the Century brings this legendary disaster and its aftermath into brilliant focus. No other natural disaster has ever matched the havoc caused by the awesome mix of winds, rains, and flooding that devastated this bustling metropolis and shocked a young, optimistic nation on the cusp of modernity. Exploring the impact of the disaster on a rising nation’s confidence—the pain and trauma of the loss and the determination of the response—Al Roker illuminates both the energy and the limitations of the American Century, and of nature itself.
“A fascinating, multifaceted story.”
“Vivid details abound in Roker’s telling of the hurricane and its aftermath…[which] reads like a novel…Engrossing.”
“Gripping reading and a well-crafted cautionary tale…[Roker] brings important new energy, details, and meteorological insights to this retelling.”
Dallas Morning News
“Personalize[s] the event…[and] uncovers more of the rescue and recovery effort…Roker’s new book is a fine effort.”
San Antonio Express-News
“Reads like a blockbuster movie script.”
“[A] vivid and absorbing account…spellbinding and informative.”
“Narrator Byron Wagner’s unrelenting tone is unnerving as he opens Al Roker’s account…Wagner’s voice relaxes as Roker then goes back to the days leading up to the hurricane, capturing the everyday rhythms of Galveston life…When the storm hits, Wagner gut-wrenchingly describes the experiences of being in a house that is collapsing and not knowing whether loved ones are still alive. Listeners will be fascinated, even as they shudder at the grim reality.”
“Focusing on the human experience of the storm…Roker follows survivors before, during, and after the hurricane in order to elucidate what people on Galveston Island encountered as the storm raged through the city…Compelling work.”
Byron Wagner is an audiobook narrator and voiceover artist based in Los Angeles. He began his career in entertainment at age eight, performing as a magician and ventriloquist for children’s parties, then graduated to theater, radio, TV, and film. After living in the UK for several years, his continuing love of acting and reading have happily led him back to the other side of the studio glass, doing voice acting and narrating, directing, and producing audiobooks.
Titles by Reader > See all
- Publisher: HarperCollins
- Genre: Nonfiction/History
- ISBN-13: 9780062395634