At 5:12 a.m. on the morning of April 18, 1906, San Francisco was struck by one of the worst earthquakes in history, instantly killing hundreds. The ensuing fires that ravaged the city for days were responsible for the deaths of as many as 3,000 more. In all, 522 blocks and 28,188 buildings were leveled, and some 200,000 people dislocated.
This watershed event in American history has never before been told with the richness of historical detail and insight that our foremost historian of fire, Dennis Smith, brings to it in San Francisco Is Burning. Smith cinematically recounts this terrible tragedy through the stories of the people who lived through those terrible days-from a valiant naval officer who helped save the city's piers and wharves to Eugene Schmitz, the crooked mayor, to the "debonair scoundrel" Abe Ruef, the most erudite city boss in American history. Throughout, Smith reveals many unknown details about the event, from the city's great vulnerability to fire-due to its corrupt and hasty building practices-to the widespread racism the quake unleashed and the atrocities committed by national guardsmen. Told with verve and a seasoned firefighter's knowledge, San Francisco Is Burning is the gripping and definitive account of one of the greatest disasters of the twentieth century.
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by Dennis Bock
by Dennis Haseley
by Dennis Covington
by Eric Flint, Andrew Dennis
by Dennis Reina, Michelle Reina
by Dennis Merritt Jones
by Brad Smith
by Cotton Smith
by Lee Smith
by Zadie Smith
by Lane Smith
"By telling the story of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fires through important but little known figures, Dennis Smith makes the catastrophe personal and heightens its impact. He focuses on a naval officer who helped save the wharves, the corrupt mayor, and the debonair city political boss. But he doesn't neglect the minute-by-minute details of the disaster. These portions translate especially well to audio and are the most compelling. Alan Sklar does a solid job of narrating, never resorting to false drama. However, a bit more emotion at times would have been more engaging. Also, the author inserts historical asides, which slow down the reading and leave the listener wondering why the author included them. R.C.G. (c) AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine"
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