Sunday, February 14, 2016

Title: The Big One: The Earthquake That Rocked Early America and Helped Create a ScienceAuthors: Jake Page and Charles Officer
Genres: non-fiction, American history, science

Most American are familiar with the San Andreas fault and the infamous earthquakes that rock the West Coast every few decades but the New Madrid area of Missouri is unfamiliar to most. New Madrid lies on the bank of the muddy Mississippi River- not your usual suspect for earthquake activity.... This book takes the reader back to the morning of December 16, 1811. The residents of New Madrid were rudely awakened by the strange lights, geysers of gas, and the ferocious movement of the earth- an earthquake!

The ramifications of the New Madrid earthquake were huge: Congress passed the first disaster relief act in 1815 to aid the homeless residents who were still trying to rebuild their lives four years after the quake. The New Madrid earthquake also helped create the science of seismology. The authors blend historical facts and figures with an action-packed writing style that keeps the science from getting too bogged down with technicalities and jargon. They also cover the beginnings of geology in the US and how early geological research aided the creation of seismology.