It was April 3, 1974 and the United States was in turmoil. Crime was soaring, unemployment and inflation were out of control, the Vietnam War had just come to a demoralising end and the soon-to-be-disgraced President Nixon was on his way out of office. Then, over a sixteen-hour period, nature stepped forward with its own display of mayhem, as an unprecedented outbreak of 148 tornadoes descended on the country. The destruction wrought was horrifying - hundreds killed, thousands of homes demolished, a billion dollars in losses sustained.
Amidst this chaos, acclaimed journalist Mark Levine follows the devastating path of a twin set of F5s - the rarest, and most deadly, category of tornado, and their impact on a rich cast of intertwined characters. Ordinary lives are transformed in one bewildering, terrifying instant: a pair of teenage lovers caught while driving on a dark country road; a Vietnam veteran trapped at home with a newborn baby; a sheriff caught in the line of fire twice in rapid succession; a black preacher with a past of dire hardship struggling to protect his family. Other figures enter the story from the broader cultural scene: Hank Aaron, on his way to challenging baseball's home run record amid racist death threats; Patty Hearst, whose image as kidnapping victim is undergoing a radical shift; Richard Nixon, intent on using the storms for his political advantage; and a memorably eccentric scientist, known as Mr Tornado, who regards the 'Superoutbreak' as the apotheosis of his scholarly life.
Monster Tornado provides a vivid and remarkable portrait of a unique point in American history - a time of incredible and unsettling convergence, where weather and people collided, and the fortunes of a series of characters, obscure and famous, would change forever.
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"Vivid, empathetic ... there's no chance of doing any fighting back against a tornado, as Levine expertly shows" ( Daily Mail)
"An interesting perspective of the political climate at that time" ( The Times)
"In a sweeping and thoroughly engaging narrative, Mark Levine reminds us that extreme weather has always been with us, and has always had an impact that reaches well beyond the lives it shatters directly. Monster Tornado reads like a novel, but is a masterpiece of careful reporting" (Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down)
"When it comes to conveying the crushing human toll of an American twister, Levine has few peers" ( Washington Post)
"Mark Levine's American Tornado reads like tornado: powerful, riveting, and violently beautiful. Once the storm starts there is no chance of putting the book down. This is not just the story of explosive weather, but of one of the most explosive times in our history" (Ann Pratchett, author of Bel Canto)
The heartstopping true story of the fiercest, most destructive storm in American history and the lives caught up in its path
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Book Description Ebury Press, 2007. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Brand new copy. "Devastation, survival, and the most violent tornado outbreak of the twentieth century.". Bookseller Inventory # 024436
Book Description Ebury Press, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. new ed edition. 320 pages. 7.80x5.00x0.79 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0091900662
Book Description Ebury Press, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 91900662
Book Description Ebury Press, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0091900662
Book Description Ebury Press, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110091900662