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ARC Review: The Divorce Colony

The Divorce Colony: How Women Revolutionized Marriage and Found Freedom on the American Frontier by April White April White’s The Divorce Colony is set during the Gilded Age, in the America of the late 1800s. It revolves around the lax divorce rules then to be found in South Dakota.  Today, getting divorced is almost easier than getting married. But in the Gilded Age, divorces were not so easy to obtain. Divorce was viewed as a moral concern for the state, and was denounced from the pulpit for threatening the sanctity of marriage. Even President Theodore Roosevelt spoke out against it.  Laws around divorce tended to be most lax on the frontiers of the United States. By the 1880s the territory of Dakota gained the dubious honor of posting the largest rise in divorces in the country. At the turn of the century one city - Sioux Falls, South Dakota - gained a reputation for having the laxest divorce laws of all, and required only a three month residency in order to take advantage of them

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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