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Book Title: The Children's Blizzard|
The author of the book: David Laskin
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Reader ratings: 5.8
Date of issue: November 9th 2004
ISBN 13: 9780060520755
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 696 KB
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The 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 Friday morning, January 13, 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.
The Children's Blizzard captures this pivotal moment in American history by tracing the stories of five families who were forever changed that day. Drawing on family interviews and memoirs, as well as hundreds of contemporary accounts, David Laskin creates an intimate picture of the men, women, and children who made choices they would regret as long as they lived. Here too is a meticulous account of the evolution of the storm and the vain struggle of government forecasters to track its progress.
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Read information about the authorBorn in Brooklyn and raised in Great Neck, New York, I grew up hearing stories that my immigrant Jewish grandparents told about the “old country” (Russia) that they left at the turn of the last century. When I was a teenager, my mother’s parents began making yearly trips to visit our relatives in Israel, and stories about the Israeli family sifted down to me as well. What I never heard growing up was that a third branch of the family had remained behind in the old country – and that all of them perished in the Holocaust. These are three branches whose intertwined stories I tell in THE FAMILY: THREE JOURNEYS INTO THE HEART OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY.
An avid reader for as long as I remember, I graduated from Harvard College in 1975 with a degree in history and literature and went on to New College, Oxford, where I received an MA in English in 1977. After a brief stint in book publishing, I launched my career as a freelance writer. In recent years, I have been writing suspense-driven narrative non-fiction about the lives of people caught up in events beyond their control, be it catastrophic weather, war, or genocide. My 2004 book The Children’s Blizzard, a national bestseller, won the Washington State Book Award and the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award, and was nominated for a Quill Award. The Long Way Home (2010) also won the Washington State Book Award.
I write frequently for the New York Times Travel Section, and I have also published in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Seattle Times and Seattle Metropolitan.
When I’m not writing or traveling for research, I am usually outdoors trying to tame our large unruly garden north of Seattle, romping with our unruly Labrador retriever pup Patrick, skiing in Washington State’s Cascade Mountains, or hiking in the Wallowa Mountains of northeast Oregon. My wife, Kate O’Neill, and I have raised three wonderful daughters – all grown now and embarked on fascinating lives of their own.
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