Review: A Furious Sky: The Five-Hundred-Year History of America's Hurricanes


A Furious Sky: The Five-Hundred-Year History of America's Hurricanes by Eric Jay Dolin

Well documented and enjoyable read about hurricanes in America from colonial times up until today. Dolin covers many storms whose impacts have influenced American history, and he also explains how advances in weather forecasting and meteorology have led us to today's ability to track hurricanes from the time they begin as tropical storms, and to tighten up our ability to forecast where they will make landfall.

This is the first book I've read by Eric Jay Dolin. I enjoyed it and look forward to picking up some of his other books.

I've read a couple of books on related topics in the past year - The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin (about the blizzard across the Great Plains in 1888 that claimed the lives of many schoolchildren, which went into a lot of detail about weather forecasting capabilities at that time) and The Gulf by Jack E. Davis (an environmental history of the Gulf of Mexico). So I was expecting to find some stories in this book that were also in those two, and while there is some overlap, I was amazed that one of the first hurricane stories covered in this book was also one of the first stories told in the audiobook I was listening to at the same time - Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram Kendi. It's interesting that the story of Richard Mather and his Puritans finding themselves in the midst of the Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635 while at sea would be covered in books on such different topics.

I rate A Furious Sky Four Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐.

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