A minute-by-minute account of the 1906 disaster, using eyewitness reports and historical documents, by the New York Times–bestselling authors of Enola Gay.
It happened at 5:13 a.m. on April 18, 1906, in San Francisco. To this day, it remains one of the worst natural disasters in American history—and this definitive book brings the full story to vivid life.
Using previously unpublished documents from insurance companies, the military, and the Red Cross, as well as the stories of those who were there, The San Francisco Earthquake exposes villains and heroes; shows how the political powers tried to conceal the amount of damage caused by the earthquake; reveals how efforts to contain the fire actually spread it instead; and tells how the military executed people without trial. It also features personal stories of people who experienced it firsthand, including the great Italian tenor Enrico Caruso, the banker Amadeo Giannini, the writer-adventurer Jack London, the temperamental star John Barrymore, and the thousands of less famous in their struggle for survival.
From the authors of The Day the Bubble Burst, The San Francisco Earthquake is not only “gripping, can’t-put-it-down reading,” but an important look at how the city has handled catastrophe in the past—and how it may handle it in the future (Los Angeles Herald Examiner).
Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witts are authors of four previous books, all highly successful in bookstores and book clubs, all acclaimed in the United States and abroad. The Day the World Ended and Voyage of the Damned were made into major motion pictures; Shipwreck won the Edgar Award in 1973; and The San Francisco Earthquake has been hailed as a major achievement of reporting and writing.