Book Review: The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet



The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet
by Henry Fountain

The Great Quake details the Good Friday Earthquake of 1964 in Alaska - the largest recorded earthquake in North America. It's filled with stories of how the quake impacted the people of Alaska, and also follows a geologist who works to uncover the mechanics and the cause of the quake. His work helped advance our knowledge of plate tectonics and to solidify it as the prevailing theory among geoscientists.

The book started a bit slowly - after the first chapter I wasn't quite sure where the author would take the story - but then he started telling the stories of the people of Alaska who were impacted by the quake and I was hooked. Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable read.

The author, Henry Fountain, is an NYT science journalist, and I have to admit I hadn't heard of him before picking up this book, but I was very impressed with his writing style and how he told this story. Erik Larson couldn't have done better.

If you are a fan of history / history of science, or true disaster stories, then I think you'll enjoy this book as much as I did. Four Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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