09 November 2011

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

What an interesting book about a topic that at first seems odd and comical but turns out to cover a very real and serious disaster.

The setting is Boston, 1919. The American economy was fueled by those industries which thrived due to WWII. Molasses was a necessary component in the manufacture of things necessary for the war effort.

Boston was the site where a 2.3 million gallon molasses holding tank was built. It was built in a rush and without adherence to industry standards. It was an accident waiting to happen.

The flood of molasses that rolled forth from the compromised tank left death and destruction in its wake. Puleo writes with a remarkable voice that takes you to the scene of wild devastation. He wrote a wonderful piece at the end of the book that details his sources of informatio; sources that had gone ignored for decades before he consulted their knowledge.

I am not typically one to read about disasters. I don't like turmoil. I love movies but don't even enjoy dramas because they often leave me feeling manipulated. I love memoirs, however, and this felt more like a very important memoir about a very serious topic. Much was learned from this disaster. I am glad I read this book. Thank you, Lisa, for the recommendation.
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