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This is a book report of Isaac’s Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History by Erick Larson. The book has 336 pages and first published on the 11th July, 2000 by the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. It received The Book Sense Book of the Year Book for Adult Award. It describes the events that had taken place a century earlier in the town of Galveston, Texas when the strong hurricane destroyed the whole town and killed more than six thousand people. This event has become the greatest disaster in American history.
Analysis of Isaac’s Storm
The book starts in September 1990 when Isaac Monroe was preparing for the night ahead. The weather became quite odd, thereby giving him the impression that something was definitely amiss. According to Isaac, he usually slept very soundly in the night and never really wakes up even when there is some noise outside. Thus, it was strange for him that he had waked up on that particular day in the middle of the night. The narrator in the story describes Isaac as a man so bold and confident that he would not lose his sleep for a slight disturbance. This definitely made him an ideal worker, especially, in the scientific field where he considered himself a pioneer physician and exemplary meteorologist (Larson 1999 page 23).
Later in the book, the narrator shifts focus away from Isaac and discusses the Hurricane at length. It was necessary because most people did not understand how a storm would degenerate into a Hurricane. However, the narrator tries to give a simple explanation that it involved a collision of winds that combined thereby, producing oppressive heat to drive the Hurricane at high speeds. In this chapter, the narrator also attempted to explain the occurrence of thunderstorms and related it to that of Hurricanes so that people could understand it better (Larson 1999, 12).
The storm continued to get bigger as it proceeded into the Caribbean Sea. For Louisa Rollfing, it spoilt the day she had marked for celebrations with her husband over the piano they had finally acquired. The events that were taking place in Cuba at the moment confirmed the weather information that the Signal Corps had sent. However, people like Moore were quite reluctant to buy the idea of predicting weather. On the following Saturday, both Dr. Young and Isaac had gone to Galveston beach to study the weather. Although they were not aware of each other’s presence, they came to a similar conclusion that Cuba was about to witness a terrible weather and that they had to inform their families about it (Larson 1999, 72).
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People expected the Hurricane had caused tremendous damages on the coastline. A train of army personnel was sent to inspect the beach the following day, and they were surprised at the damage that had been done. However, the scenes of deaths, both human and animals, scared them incredibly. The troop had gathered information that later formed the foundation for a comprehensive report by Moore. For instance, they undertook for tally the total number of casualties and they obtained a large number of 4,263. It was a great loss to the town that had been rumored as the second successful town in Cuba. Galveston had to start building modern structures afresh, and this meant that its dream of outdoing its competitors gone (Larson 1999 page 41).
The most outstanding character in the book was Isaac Cline as the entire story tends to revolve around him. According to the book, he had been sent to Galveston due to his vast knowledge in meteorology. He was supposed to head up the US Signal Corp, a weather service unit that was located in Texas. Thus, the entire story is told from his personal perspective considering he had been there to witness the onset and progress of the Hurricane. Isaac Cline is described as a decent and remarkable guy as he was not easily disturbed by the turn of events. He watched the tragic dimensions of the Hurricane without ever looking worried. Since he joined a career in meteorology, he had only witnessed one other tragic weather. As such, it was expected that he would be scared by the actual turn of events. There was also Willis Moore who was rightly described as an ambitious bureaucrat who hated to deliver a message of doom to the people. That was why he gave wrong information concerning the nature and the extent of the storm. According to him, the storm had drifted north towards the inland and subsequently lost its power. He knew that this was a false account of the events and that the storm was fast approaching shores of Texas. However, the two changed later on in the book. For instance, Moore agreed to give the right account of all casualties in the tragic weather contrary to his desires not to deliver bad news. On the other hand, Isaac stated to worry about a possibility of another similar storm when he had realized the extent of damage (Larson 1999 page 45).
The major crisis in the book was the tragic weather, the Hurricane. People were not prepared to it because meteorologists had insisted that it did not pose a significant threat to them. For instance, Isaac had emphasized that the storm had drifted north and that it may not hit their town after all. When the storm finally reached the town, it destroyed every bit of the buildings. In addition, the number of killed people was numerous. Although Moore put the figure at 4,263, the number must have been much higher. It was certainly a turning point for the town of Galveston as it struggled to emerge the most successful town in Texas. This tragic storm sealed its fate in the fight for glory that pitted the town of Galveston against Houston (Larson 1999 page 22).
In conclusion, the negligent action by the government even after Isaac Cline had warned of a tragic disaster revealed the presence of moral psychopaths in the government. It certainly exposed what a departure from social morality could cause the people, especially when the government ceased to care about the public.
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