Sunday, January 2, 2011

50BC11 #2: Dark Tide:The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919

Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 by Stephen Puleo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you aren't aware of the Molasses Flood of 1919, you are likely, as I was, to chuckle just thinking about the Boston waterfront coated in the sticky stuff. But Stephen Puleo's narrative of this event is terrifying, heartbreaking, dramatic, yet never seems sensationalist. He opens the door to reveal a history not just of an isolated terrible tragedy, but the ongoing struggle between corporate power, politics, and ethnic/class stratification. This book isn't just about the fifteen foot high wave that killed over 20 people (according the legal ruling) and injured multitudes of others, but is about what justice really means when an unexpected tragedy takes center stage against the backdrop of society's everyday tragedies. Beautifully written and extensively researched, this is one of the most riveting historical accounts I've ever read.

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