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This is a list of books about real-life catastrophes and tragedies.
Aboman's Guide to Survival & Self-Reliance: Practical Skills for Interesting Times by Joseph A. Bigley.
Read by Erik Synnestvedt. Reading time 7 hours 52 minutes.
Advice on how to deal with challenges presented by unexpected equipment breakdowns, weather disasters, and other such events. The manual contains information on preparing for emergencies, troubleshooting household problems, and maintaining health through alternative medicine and herbal remedies. Also highlights wilderness survival skills.
Download Aboman's Guide to Survival and Self-Reliance, DB56439
A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906 by Simon Winchester
Read by Steven Carpenter. Reading time 13 hours 46 minutes.
Geologist and author of Krakatoa (RC 55879) recounts the April 1906 earthquake and subsequent fires that devastated the San Francisco area. Chronicles the natural disaster in historical, political, and social context, detailing Earth's geologic background and the science of tectonic plate theory. 2005.
Download A Crack in the Edge of the World, DB62162
Dispatches from the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival by Anderson Cooper
Read by Bill Wallace. Reading time 6 hours 16 minutes.
CNN correspondent and anchor discusses the events he covered in 2005--the Asian tsunami, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, famine in Africa, and the war in Iraq. Reflects on the connections these crises evoked between his professional and personal life. Bestseller. 2006.
Download Dispatches from the Edge, DB62793
Emperors of the Ice: A True Story of Disaster and Survival in the Antarctic, 1910-1913 by Richard Farr
Read by Michael Page. Reading time 5 hours 7 minutes.
Fictionalized account of Englishman Robert F. Scott's Antarctic expedition based on the memoirs of Apsley Cherry-Garrard, an assistant zoologist on the adventure. Describes Scott's harrowing march to the South Pole and a side trip in search of emperor penguin eggs. For senior high and older readers. Commercial audiobook. 2008.
Download Emperors of the Ice, 1910-1913, DB70636
Fire on the Mountain: The True Story of the South Canyon Fire by John N. Maclean.
Read by Jim Johnston. Reading time 10 hours 19 minutes.
An account of the 1994 forest fire on Colorado's Storm King Mountain, which claimed the lives of fourteen elite firefighters, including four women. Reconstructs the human errors that compounded the natural disaster, mistakes made during the investigations that followed, and lessons to be learned. Some strong language.
Download Fire on the Mountain of the South, DB50200
Forever on the Mountain: The Truth behind One of Mountaineering's Most Controversial and Mysterious Disasters by James M. Tabor
Read by Patrick Downer. Reading time 16 hours 15 minutes.
The author uses diaries, letters, personal interviews with survivors, and government documents to investigate the disappearance of seven men in July 1967 when a storm hit as they attempted to scale Alaska's Mt. McKinley. Discusses allegations of incompetence and a cover-up. 2007.
Download Forever on the Mountain, DB67223
Furnace of Creation, Cradle of Destruction: A Journey to the Birthplace of Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Tsunamis by Roy Chester
Read by Jake Williams. Reading time 9 hours 21 minutes.
British oceanographer explains the development of the field of geology and the science of plate tectonics. Highlights natural disasters throughout history, including the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, volcanoes, and earthquakes. 2008.
Download Furnace of Creation, Cradle of Destruction, DB66988
Great Lakes Shipwrecks & Survivals by William Ratigan.
Read by Randy Atcher. Reading time 13 hours 10 minutes.
History of maritime disasters on each of the North American inland seas: Lakes Michigan, Huron, Erie, Superior, and Ontario. Describes how vessels and their crews functioned during catastrophic storms. A separate section details the November 1975 wreck of the cargo ship Edmund Fitzgerald.
Download Great Lakes Shipwrecks and Survivals, DB47621
The Raging Sea: The Powerful Account of the Worst Tsunami in U.S. History by Dennis M. Powers
Read by Michael Russotto. Reading time 12 hours 1 minute.
Professor describes the tragedy of Good Friday, March 27, 1964, when four waves spawned by an Alaskan earthquake hit Crescent City, California, and devastated the town. Interviews survivors and reveals tales of heroism and grief as eleven people lost their lives and the area was ravaged. 2005.
Download The Raging Sea, DB60836
Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America by John M. Barry.
Read by Chuck Young. Reading time 18 hours 54 minutes.
An account of the catastrophic flood of 1927, in which at least one thousand Americans were killed and another million displaced by the swollen Mississippi River. Traces early engineering efforts at river control, which set the stage for the disaster. Explores the flood's far-reaching social, political, and economic implications.
Download Rising Tide, DB46388
Rudy Giuliani: Emperor of the City by AndrewKirtzman.
Read by Peter Johnson. Reading time 14 hours 59 minutes.
The administration of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani in a reporter's account that includes the destruction at the World Trade Center. Describes the ex-prosecutor's policies, personality, bitter rivalries, and family problems. Illustrates how the city recovered from decades of crime and corruption. Some strong language.
Download Rudy Giuliani: Emperor of the City, DB54285
Shackleton's Forgotten Men: The Untold Tragedy of the Endurance Epic by Lennard Bickel.
Read by Anne Flosnik. Reading time 9 hours 15 minutes.
In 1915 Shackleton's expedition was marooned in ice on one side of Antarctica. Meanwhile, on the other side a small team of men and dogs persevered to supply food depots for Shackleton's expected transcontinental crossing. Relates the attendant tragedies of the 2,000-mile sledge journey to fulfill an obligation of honor.
Download Shackleton's Forgotten Men, DB51969
When the Mississippi Ran Backwards: Empire, Intrigue, Murder, and the New Madrid Earthquakes by Jay Feldman
Read by Jill Fox. Reading time 10 hours 47 minutes.
Chronicles a series of catastrophic earthquakes in the Mississippi River Valley from 1811 to 1812 that devastated the New Madrid frontier settlement and temporarily reversed the Mississippi's flow. Links the seismologic activity to the Indian Wars, a slave murder committed by Thomas Jefferson's nephews, and the War of 1812. 2005.
Download When the Mississippi Ran Backwards, DB60365
Volcanoes in Human History: The Far-Reaching Effects of Major Eruptions by Jelle Zeilinga de Boer
Read by Erik Synnestvedt. Reading time 9 hours 58 minutes.
Examines nine historic volcanic disasters. Discusses their geologic settings in relation to plate tectonics and both the immediate and long-range consequences in human terms of volcanic activity. Chronicles eruptions of Vesuvius, Tambora, Krakatau, Mount Pelee, and Mount St. Helens, discussing also the formation of Iceland and the Hawaiian Islands. 2002.
Download Volcanoes in Human History, DB58624