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Simon Winchester, New York Times bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman, examines the legendary annihilation in 1883 of the volcano-island of Krakatoa, which was followed by an immense tsunami that killed nearly forty thousand people. The effects of the immense waves were felt as far away as France. Barometers in Bogotá and Washington, D.C., went haywire. Bodies were washed up in Zanzibar. The sound of the island's destruction was heard in Australia and India and on islands thousands of miles away. Most significant of all -- in view of today's new political climate -- the eruption helped to trigger in Java a wave of murderous anti-Western militancy among fundamentalist Muslims, one of the first outbreaks of Islamic-inspired killings anywhere. Krakatoa gives us an entirely new perspective on this fascinating and iconic event.

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

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    Intriguing but flawed

    Fascinating account of the prelude and postlude of the event itself, but the author struggled in portions to attach it to wider import. I liked his Chapter 3 descriptions of the mechanics for plate tectonics, and will probably use some of them in my middle school Earth Science class. I also liked his accounts of how news of the event traveled so quickly around the world via telegraph, making it arguably the first "global" event. However, his lack of acknowledgement of the 1815 eruption of Mt. Tambora as the largest scale event in human history, even to this day, is a glaring and conspicuous oversight, leaving this as a clearly flawed book for laymen only.


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