The Children's Blizzard

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Zondervan, 13 .. 2009 - 336 ˹

David Laskin deploys historical fact of the finest grain to tell the story of a monstrous blizzard that caught the settlers of the Great Plains utterly by surprise. . . . This is a book best read with a fire roaring in the hearth and a blanket and box of tissues near at hand. Erik Larson, author ofThe Devil in the White City

Heartbreaking. . . . This account of the 1888 blizzard reads like a thriller. Entertainment Weekly

The gripping true story of an epic prairie snowstorm that killed hundreds of newly arrived settlers and cast a shadow on the promise of the American frontier.

January 12, 1888, began as an unseasonably warm morning across Nebraska, the Dakotas, and Minnesota, the weather so mild that children walked to school without coats and gloves. But that afternoon, without warning, the atmosphere suddenly, violently changed. One moment the air was calm; the next the sky exploded in a raging chaos of horizontal snow and hurricane-force winds. Temperatures plunged as an unprecedented cold front ripped through the center of the continent.

By the next morning, some five hundred people lay dead on the drifted prairie, many of them children who had perished on their way home from country schools. In a few terrifying hours, the hopes of the pioneers had been blasted by the bitter realities of their harsh environment. Recent immigrants from Germany, Norway, Denmark, and the Ukraine learned that their free homestead was not a paradise but a hard, unforgiving place governed by natural forces they neither understood nor controlled.

With the storm as its dramatic, heartbreaking focal point,The Children's Blizzardcaptures this pivotal moment in American history by tracing the stories of five families who were forever changed that day. David Laskin has produced a masterful portrait of a tragic crucible in the settlement of the American heartland.

The P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

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LibraryThing Review

Ԩóҡ  - drmaf - LibraryThing

On January 12, 1888, a massive blizzard swept down without on the north-western United States. Totally unforeseen by primitive techniques and unwary weather observers, the blizzard hit in the middle ... ҹԴ繩Ѻ

LibraryThing Review

Ԩóҡ  - stevrbee - LibraryThing

I had never heard of the Children's Blizzard of 1888 before picking up this book. In parts of Nebraska and the Dakota Territory, the storm arrived without notice at midday after a beautiful winter ... ҹԴ繩Ѻ

Prologue
1
CHAPTER TWO Trials
51
CHAPTER THREE Disturbance
75
CHAPTER FIVE Cold Front
117
CHAPTER SEVEN Gods Burning Finger
173
CHAPTER NINE Prairie Dawn
203
CHAPTER TEN Sunday
223
CHAPTER ELEVEN Heroines
237
Sources
273
Acknowledgments
291
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˹ 24 - That saith of CYRUS, He is my shepherd, And shall perform all my pleasure : Even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built ; And to the temple. Thy foundation shall be laid.
˹ 50 - Not a tree nor a house broke the broad sweep of flat country that reached to the edge of the sky in all directions. The sun had baked the plowed land into a gray mass, with little cracks running through it. Even the grass was not green, for the sun had burned the tops of the long blades until they were the same gray color to be seen everywhere.
˹ 93 - You might as well expect the rivers to run backward as that any man who was born a free man should be contented when penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases.
˹ 51 - Language cannot exaggerate the rapidity with which these communities are built up. You may stand ankle deep in the short grass of the uninhabited wilderness ; next month a mixed train will glide over the waste and stop at some point where the railroad has decided to locate a town. Men, women, and children will jump out of the cars and their chattels will be tumbled out after them. From that moment the building begins.
˹ 284 - At the date of the last annual report of the Chief Signal Officer of the army to the Secretary of War...
˹ 96 - ... with ardor and success ; but we regret that the discussions, which unavoidably arise among different investigators, have not always been carried on with the calmness and moderation with which the pursuit of truth should always be conducted. Indeed, meteorology has ever been an apple of contention, as if the violent commotions of the atmosphere induced a sympathetic effect in the minds of those who have attempted to study them.
˹ 66 - The losses are crippling. For the first time I have been utterly unable to enjoy a visit to my ranch. I shall be glad to get home.
˹ 90 - It is now generally understood that the exact meaning of the term " cold wave," implies that the temperature will fall below fortyfive (45) degrees, and that in twenty-four hours an abnormal fall of fifteen, or more, degrees will occur. The great advantages of knowing sixteen to twenty-four hours in advance that the temperature will fall quickly, apply not only to manifold business interests, but affect the comfort of thousands, and at times the health and life of hundreds. The importance of early...

ǡѺ (2009)

David Laskin is the author of The Children's Blizzard, winner of the Midwest Booksellers' Choice Award for nonfiction and the Washington State Book Award. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Smithsonian magazine. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

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