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Floodpath: The Deadliest Man-Made Disaster of 20th-Century America and the Making of Modern Los Angeles

Floodpath The Deadliest Man Made Disaster of th Century America and the Making of Modern Los Angeles Just before midnight on March the St Francis Dam a twenty story high concrete structure just fifty miles north of Los Angeles suddenly collapsed releasing a devastating flood that roared

  • Title: Floodpath: The Deadliest Man-Made Disaster of 20th-Century America and the Making of Modern Los Angeles
  • Author: Jon Wilkman
  • ISBN: 9781620409152
  • Page: 112
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Just before midnight on March 12, 1928, the St Francis Dam, a twenty story high concrete structure just fifty miles north of Los Angeles, suddenly collapsed, releasing a devastating flood that roared fifty four miles to the Pacific Ocean, destroying everything in its path It was a horrific catastrophe, yet one which today is virtually forgotten.With research gathered oveJust before midnight on March 12, 1928, the St Francis Dam, a twenty story high concrete structure just fifty miles north of Los Angeles, suddenly collapsed, releasing a devastating flood that roared fifty four miles to the Pacific Ocean, destroying everything in its path It was a horrific catastrophe, yet one which today is virtually forgotten.With research gathered over than two decades, award winning writer and filmmaker Jon Wilkman revisits the deluge that claimed nearly five hundred lives A key figure is William Mulholland, the self taught engineer who created an unprecedented water system, allowing Los Angeles to become America s second largest city, and who was also responsible for the design and construction of the St Francis Dam.Driven by eyewitness accounts and combining urban history with a life and death drama and a technological detective story, Floodpath grippingly reanimates the reality behind L.A noir fictions such as the classic film Chinatown In an era of climate change, increasing demand on water resources, and a neglected American infrastructure, the tragedy of the St Francis Dam has never been relevant.

    Floodpath The Deadliest Man Made Disaster of th Century Floodpath The Deadliest Man Made Disaster of th Century America and the Making of Modern Los Angeles Jon Wilkman on FREE shipping on qualifying offers Just before midnight on March , , the St Francis Dam, a twenty story high concrete structure just Customer reviews Floodpath The Deadliest Man Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Floodpath The Deadliest Man Made Disaster of th Century America and the Making of Modern Los Angeles at Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. SaintFrancisDam The St Francis Dam Disaster America s deadliest civil engineering failure of the th Century St Francis Dam The St Francis Dam was a curved concrete gravity dam, built to create a large regulating and storage reservoir for the city of Los Angeles, California.The reservoir was an integral part of the city s Los Angeles Aqueduct water supply infrastructure It was located in San Francisquito Canyon of the Sierra Pelona Mountains, about miles km northwest of downtown Los Angeles, and

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      Published :2018-09-15T23:41:02+00:00

    1 thought on “Floodpath: The Deadliest Man-Made Disaster of 20th-Century America and the Making of Modern Los Angeles

    1. I've been lucky in my history reading choices lately. This book is history the way it should be told. Wilkman brings to life the now all-but-forgotten story of the St. Francis Dam, 50 miles north of Los Angeles, which suddenly collapsed one spring night in 1928, releasing more than 12 billion gallons of water that wrought death and destruction as it roared to the sea. More than 400 people died that night in what has been called the worst civil engineering disaster in America in the 20th century. [...]

    2. It begins with the action and unfolds with answers to all the questions that popped into your head while the flood made its way through the valley. Never too technical, always informative, and very entertaining. Much of LA history was written by water politics, so this is a great history lesson on southern CA in general. I'm amazed I hadn't heard of this while living in LA!

    3. A very enjoyable read full of technical details about dams and water infrastructure, and a very good history of Los Angeles. It got a bit long at the end, but I was happy to read a good book about something I had never heard of, even though I lived in Los Angeles for a time, and visited many times.

    4. I've been to Fillmore and have seen the police motorcycle statute. Now I understand the significance. Really good book.

    5. The story itself is pretty compelling, but the writing was not the best. The author put together some sections as fact-after-fact-after-fact jump to next fact-after-fact. Lots of name-dropping in the sense that people are mentioned once or twice with only a few defining characteristics or actions - and I'm sure that an enthusiast for Los Angeles history would have no trouble filling in some of the contexts, but things were not so transparent to a reader from outside the area. There are places wh [...]

    6. I would probably give this book 3.5 stars if I could. It's a story of ingenuity, determination, greed, and ultimate tragedy when the St. Francis Dam collapses in March of 1928, leading to a huge death toll in California's Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. It is also the story of William Mulholland, a self-made engineer, who doesn't have much book learning, but has years of experience as his credentals.The book discusses Los Angeles' drive to grow from some forty square miles into the massive cit [...]

    7. How Los Angeles gets its water is an always-current controversy, and I'd heard of William Mulholland, the visionary wheeler-dealer who brought the city its first aqueducts and reservoirs. But I'd never heard of the San Francisco Dam failure of 1920, the collapse of a Mulholland dam that flooded the Santa Clara riverbed all the way to the ocean at Oxnard, killing more than 400 people and devastating the towns and farmland between. The story is a dramatic one, the background on Mulholland is fasci [...]

    8. 3.5 Stars. I'm from Pittsburgh and was well aware of the Johnstown Flood, but had never heard of the St. Francis Dam flood. I found Wilkman's book interesting for the most part, although the book bogged down in places. In addition, the author failed to raise the characters above superficiality; therefore, relating to them emotionally was difficult. Even so, the book clearly shows how ego, hubris, politics, and the desire for power doomed the dam and the hundreds that died in the flood. There is [...]

    9. Engrossing Story of a Forgotten DisasterI live a few blocks from the Santa Clara River in southern California. Today the valley where the river's located is a mix of housing tracts, citrus groves and farmland; there's not much left to remind you of the people who lived in the small towns and on the farms and ranches there long ago. But almost 90 years ago, this valley witnessed one of the greatest floods in modern history - caused by the failure of a dam built to provide water and power to Los A [...]

    10. Having lived in California for most of my life, I had not heard about this dam collapse, so by reading this title, I was hoping to learn lots of cool stuff. Not the case. The author wandered from here to there, brought up newsworthy items for sure, but would have been better in another book. I am still not exactly clear in exactly where this damm was located, just somewhere next to Castaic (6 Flags Magic Mountain) area for those of you not familiar with CA. For all the pictures included in the b [...]

    11. This book will appeal to history lovers, to people who want to learn more about infrastructure and what role they played in an emergent American economy. The beginning is slow and there is way too much information about dams than you'll ever need to know , but the middle part was the best one at least to me , it talks about the logistics of rescue once the dam broke and how different social classes were discriminated against in the rescue efforts, the last part became too slow to my taste and fu [...]

    12. A well-told story of an historical event I knew nothing of. Feel sorry for the hundreds of millions of people who now live in that area and know nothing of the event. The book also helps put Mulholland in more of a fallible light - he's often portrayed as a super-engineer who always did the impossible.

    13. Interesting Account of a Little-known DisasterThe author details the disaster, but fails to fully discuss why it is not better remembered or why Californians who do know about it downplay its far-reaching consequences. Otherwise, the author does a great job of telling the personal costs to both the builder and the victims.

    14. No mapWhile an interesting account of California history I would have liked a map showing the location of the dam in relation to LA County. There were references to the Santa Clara river: was the dam there?

    15. Captures LAIts about a dam, flood and response but it captures a reality that was the incredible growth and maturation of a history - where in Europe would take centuries- in LA, less than two hundred years. I can't stand loving LA. This book does that.

    16. Los Angeles did not grow to become one of America's largest cities because of the movie industry. Rather, it grew so sizeably in population only because of the efforts to secure water to hydrate city dwellers often at a cost to those who lived near where water did or could run.Dams became a solution for long term water needs. This is the story of the failure of the Saint Francis dam which created an artificial reservoir of water in the San Francisquito canyon near Santa Clara, California. What d [...]

    17. This story is about a dam collapse in 1928 and the aftermath. The disaster and subsequent investigation are well told and will keep you engaged. I did, however, find some of the background material a little slow. I’m not knocking the book for that. In nonfiction, background information about the people and events is necessary to obtain a fuller picture. It’s just that I almost gave up on this book after a sluggish beginning, and wouldn’t want another reader to make the same mistake. This b [...]

    18. Growing up in Southern California we have always heard about Los Angeles grab of water from many different sources. This book goes into that in the first part with the building of the aqueduct, to the taking of water from the Owens Valley. The author gives you plenty of back story from the 1800’s to the 1900’s of L.A grab of water and how they incorporated more cities around to increase their land and population. He also shows you the rise of William Mullholland who becomes the head of the w [...]

    19. Excellent narrative history of the 1928 St. Francis dam disaster. I read this book in tandem with Les Standiford's Water for the Angels and while each complements the other, if you've only got time for one it should definitely be Floodpath. Wilkman's account of the flood itself reminded me of David McCullough's classic work on the Johnstown flood, high praise indeed. The illustrations are first rate also. Highly recommended, really a 4.5 star book.

    20. I read this story right after finishing, “109 East Palace.” It was unintentional but I’m glad I did. The parallels between the main characters is striking. William Mullholland is a hard-working self-taught civil engineer. He knows the only way L.A. will become a great city is if there is an ample, reliant water source. When the city passes a bond to build the project, Mullholland picks the San Francisquito Canyon as the most likely source for the sought out life-building treasure. It was o [...]

    21. I actually finished this book over a week ago. I found this book incredibly interesting. I saw Chinatown with Jack Nicholson years agod what little information I knew about Los Angeles and their water problems came from that movie, and newspapers and a few journal articles. This book corrected my faulty ideas a lot, and all I could think while reading it was my father would have absolutely loved this book. Dad was an engineer, and would have found not only the information about the original dam [...]

    22. This book presents a history of the St. Francis Dam, from its construction as part of Los Angeles's efforts to secure (as Wilkman notes, many would have said "steal") water to allow for its expansion, through its collapse only a couple of years after completion, to the consequences of its failure. This connects, at least briefly, to a wide range of subjects: the career of Los Angeles's longtime lord of big civic construction William Mulholland, the differences in compensation for varying racial [...]

    23. The collapse of the St. Francis Dam was the second greatest disaster in California history yet I knew nothing of it even though I've spent most of my life in Ventura County. I am not alone in my ignorance. Why this is so is among the many questions explored by Wilkman in his well researched and highly readable account of this horrific event and the destruction of lives and property it wrought in San Francisquito Canyon and the Santa Clara Valley along the entire length of Hwy. 126.The history of [...]

    24. WOWI was born and raised in California, never heard this story. Great story, awesome historic information. If you are a history buff or not, you will enjoy this book!

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