The Circus Fire -Stewart O’Nan
The only reason I said mostly prior to the 1960s is that, the earlier you go, the more interesting it is to see how these disasters could have been prevented by today’s safety regs. For example, in the 1944 circus fire in Hartford, the big top had been waterproofed with a mixture of paraffin and gasoline. Nowadays, that would only be suggested in something like “Arson for Dummies”, but back then, it was standard. Or the fact that the Titanic didn’t have enough lifeboats, and was going at fullspeed in an area known to be infested with icebergs. But if there are interesting disasters that happen later on, (the Edmund Fitzgerald, for example), that’s fine.
CalMeacham-I have read McCullouch’s book several times-it’s a good one. I’ve also visited the flood museum in St. Michael-my aunt lives in Ligonier which is just about, oh, a half an hour’s drive from Johnstown.
Thanks guys, this is a great list-I’m gonna go and see if any of these are at my local libraries. (Boy am I going to have a depressing summer reading list!)