Memphis Reads – The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough

Staff Book Reviews

Marilyn U. reviews THE JOHNSTOWN FLOOD by David McCullough (Simon and Schuster, 1968)

David McCullough has written a thoroughly researched book accounting the Johnstown Flood in Pennsylvania. The author is able to hold the reader’s attention by recounting stories from survivors. I enjoyed reading this captivating story.

Readers of this book will realize two things: a 70-foot wall of water is a powerful force and one the most destructive forces of nature is a flood. When a wall of water and flood were combined by man-made dam, one of the greatest disasters in the United States occurred. On May 31, 1889, the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania was wiped out by a dam collapse. In The Johnstown Flood, author David McCullough has explored the building of the South Fork dam, its maintenance, and eventual collapse, which led to the destruction of Johnstown and a national response to over 2,000 deaths.

Marilyn U., Staff