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!Download ⚇ The Day the World Ended ⚓ The spectacular story of the world s greatest natural disaster ever to strike the western hemisphere thevolcano that destroyed St Pierre on the island of Martinique This book reveals the story of a city engulfed in flames and plunged into terrifying darkness Before reading this book, I had not heard of the Mt Pelee eruption of 1902 and yet it completely destroyed a city in Martinique and killed very close to 30,000 people It was muchdevastating than the eruption of famed Mt Vesuvius The writers have poured through volumes of documentation to recreate the story, although their writing style is not bland or matter of fact at all It details the happenings in the port city of St Pierre from the perspectives of several of the town s inhab Before reading this book, I had not heard of the Mt Pelee eruption of 1902 and yet it completely destroyed a city in Martinique and killed very close to 30,000 people It was muchdevastating than the eruption of famed Mt Vesuvius The writers have poured through volumes of documentation to recreate the story, although their writing style is not bland or matter of fact at all It details the happenings in the port city of St Pierre from the perspectives of several of the town s inhabitants Some survived and provided their stories during an inquest afterward Others wrote letters or kept diaries that survived Since this was a port, the tragedy also reaches out to the numerous ships that were nearby The crews and passengers that were caught unaware by the blast went through an experience possiblyhellish than the city dwellers who were land bound What is particularly sad and that also has a most unfortunate ring of truth is the massive deceit and incompetence in avoiding the loss of life Officials and experts had an image to project as protectors of the people, and they went to unusual lengths to assure that only their viewpoints circulated among the inhabitants and outward to other governments If the writers are correct, there is also evidence that the governor of the island may have been insane This book is the very definition of a page turner The story was so vivid that it almost seemed as if I was watching an exceptional disaster movie Also, the details of the various hardships and intrigues of the people kept me wondering how their small portions of the tale would resolve, momentarily forgetting the pending force of nature that would destroy most of their lives The bitterness of a wealthy romance going sour was the perfect example If the book has a fault, it would be that the details of the survivors after the event are very brief There is mention made, although I would have liked to have haddetails about some of them There was a particularly intriguing, though brief, interview with a survivor who was quite young when the disaster occurred, but lived into her 90 s For a close look at an amazing historical event that seems buried in memory, I can highly recommend this book The Day The World Ended is a horrific detailed account of the week preceding the massive eruption of Mount Pel e on the Caribbean island of Martinique, which killed 29,000 people in 1902 The most shocking part of this book was reading about the island s corrupt public leaders who wereconcerned with political party advances in an upcoming election than the welfare and safety of the public, publishing lies in newspapers, burying and ignoring the alarms and calls for action, and actually enc The Day The World Ended is a horrific detailed account of the week preceding the massive eruption of Mount Pel e on the Caribbean island of Martinique, which killed 29,000 people in 1902 The most shocking part of this book was reading about the island s corrupt public leaders who wereconcerned with political party advances in an upcoming election than the welfare and safety of the public, publishing lies in newspapers, burying and ignoring the alarms and calls for action, and actually encouraging people to stay in the city of St Pierre, rather than heeding the warnings of local scientists and evacuating the town Reading this account makes me question the content and truthfulness of current news and media, as well as the real motives and priorities of our government this book has a lot of similarities to the disaster of Katrina Despite being non fiction and full of personal accounts which tend to be a little on the dry end , this was a totally engrossing read and once started can not be put down A real page turner Most of the 30,000 deaths at St Pierre were due to human incompetence the volcano gave plenty of warning. Extremely suspenseful and well researchedthe true story of the explosion of Mount Pele in Martinique in 1902 30,000 people died because of incompetent and selfish politicianssome things never change I like true stories this was incredibly interesting to me in regards to the volcanic activity over the course of weeks, butimportantly how people can ignore such an obviously impending disaster 30,000 people were killed in this cityonly a few left the area while the rest believed nothing terrible was going to happen I liken it to the condition of our culture todayso many warning signs that disaster awaits us, but no one seems alarmed everyone carries on as if all is well I like true stories this was incredibly interesting to me in regards to the volcanic activity over the course of weeks, butimportantly how people can ignore such an obviously impending disaster 30,000 people were killed in this cityonly a few left the area while the rest believed nothing terrible was going to happen I liken it to the condition of our culture todayso many warning signs that disaster awaits us, but no one seems alarmed everyone carries on as if all is well A Sunday matinee movie in the form of a book and a good one at that I found a rare 1st edition hardcover with dust jacket in like new shape at my local second hand bookstore Researched and written 67 years after the eruption of Mt Pelee on the Caribbean isle of Martinique that claimed over 30,000 lives on May 8th, 1902, the book has a few facts wrong, mostly that of the story of prisoner survivor August Cyparis or Louis Auguste Cyparis, depending on the source material, but is overall a well A Sunday matinee movie in the form of a book and a good one at that I found a rare 1st edition hardcover with dust jacket in like new shape at my local second hand bookstore Researched and written 67 years after the eruption of Mt Pelee on the Caribbean isle of Martinique that claimed over 30,000 lives on May 8th, 1902, the book has a few facts wrong, mostly that of the story of prisoner survivor August Cyparis or Louis Auguste Cyparis, depending on the source material, but is overall a well researched tome for it s time The book claims he was in prison for murder and was hours away from a death sentence That s a fabrication, complete creative license was taken He was on jail for drunk and disorderly and was expected to be released in due time When an author takes THAT much liberty with one character, how much did they take with others A recent book on the cataclysm from Cyparis story angle is available today that confirms that much There are heroes and villains and the mountain itself, which appears at times to be the vengeful hand of God aiming it s message at the political and social evils that festered on the colonial front It especially felt that way when the mountain s rumbling sent all the escaping wildlife before it, which included hundreds of Fer de lances, a type venomous snake which inflicted a large number of casualties as they invaded the city of St Pierre en masse Everyone on the island thought St Pierre was one of the safest places to be after Mt Pelee began to erupt, and the lone local newspaper, with it s eye on a big election in a few days and who didn t want to endanger the idea of a loss if people vacated for safety, published stories about experts who claimed the volcano was safe and calming down The expert it turns out was the newspaper editor The authorities even forbade shipping to leave the port, so determined were they to stop people from fleeing There is a racial animus here that deserves attention the upstart blacks and mulattos were finding their political voice and legs in colonial 1902, and that was a deep concern for the wealthy whites who ran things with an iron fist Therefore, any thing that might detract from the white voting base showing up, like, you know, a volcano, would deliver perhaps a bad result So those in power colluded and lied The town, swelled up now with refugees, became a sitting duck for a pyroclastic event On May 8th, arounds 0 800, it happened Two people survived out of at least 30,000 souls The stories of those who survived by fleeing in the nick of time are astounding, miraculous The authors, Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witts, deliver a timeless book that is still being read 48 years after they released it Score this book It earned a place on my shelf Excellent, excellent, excellentif completely horrifying Talk about your end of time storiesthis one is real Find out how government and the church essentially slaughtered 30,000 people with the minor assistance of a volcano Like Thomas and Witts other books, this is a deeply detailed, almost minute to minute telling of the eruption NOT earthquake, as this entry calls it of Pelee in Martinique that essentially wiped the city of St Pierre from the face of the earth Brilliantly and ch Excellent, excellent, excellentif completely horrifying Talk about your end of time storiesthis one is real Find out how government and the church essentially slaughtered 30,000 people with the minor assistance of a volcano Like Thomas and Witts other books, this is a deeply detailed, almost minute to minute telling of the eruption NOT earthquake, as this entry calls it of Pelee in Martinique that essentially wiped the city of St Pierre from the face of the earth Brilliantly and chillingly told Things really haven t changed a whole lot in this sad old world I ve done something unusual for me and rewritten this review several times I suspect this will be the last one as I now feel I know enough to have an informed opinion.This book is a highly entertaining and compelling account of the volcanic disaster that wiped out the lovely Caribbean city of St Pierre on May 8, 1902 It manages to maintain a sense of escalating tension while following characters who do not much at all really You get a feel for the city, the people, and life on a Caribbean is I ve done something unusual for me and rewritten this review several times I suspect this will be the last one as I now feel I know enough to have an informed opinion.This book is a highly entertaining and compelling account of the volcanic disaster that wiped out the lovely Caribbean city of St Pierre on May 8, 1902 It manages to maintain a sense of escalating tension while following characters who do not much at all really You get a feel for the city, the people, and life on a Caribbean island in the Belle Epoque.It is also almost completely fictitious Leaving aside matters of interpretation regarding specific accounts and the relative competence of government officials and their reactions, the book invents a narrative that fits the dramatic sense of building drama that we crave but bears no relation to actual events I was absolutely astonished to read the account of a rapidly growing humanitarian crisis culminating in a giant explosion Each day the situation growsdire and grotesque It s compelling It s also the biggest lie in the book The situation was not devolving each day as the death toll skyrocketed A factory was wiped out on Monday, but that was the sum total of deaths until the disaster of Thursday, May 8 Civilization didn t break down as voodoo gangs ran wild On the morning of the eruption the ferry service was still operating Tourists were coming in from Fort de France to view the spectacle People were scared, but life continued on as normal.And the reason this lie and it is a deliberate lie, not a misinterpretation or misunderstanding is so damaging is that a sense of increasing danger was exactly what people were waiting for before they packed it in If it had happened like this the town or at least the part wealthy enough to book transport would have fled Instead, things remained hovering on a level of uncertain danger that was difficult to judge Indeed, the city seemed the safest place around The day after the eruption, when the rescue ships landed at the next town over, the people there pleaded to be evacuated to St Pierre I ve included a few of the false statements at the end and they are doozies A big part of their problem is that they are inventing facts, quotes, and maybe even sources, but a lot of it comes from their source criticism Or lack thereof The disaster of St Pierre was front page news across the world, but naturally it took a long time for reliable facts to appear from a confused and disorganized island Also naturally, the local rag sheets and even respectable newspapers grabbed what they could find Most of it was bullshit, invented by editors or spread by the rumors of terrified refugees most of whom hadn t even seen the disaster and then treated as fact Stories grew in the telling like a game of telephone One man describes how the mountain seemed to open up in a fireball, the next tells of how the mountain exploded and bits of it scattered everywhere, and the next says clearly that he has seen for himself the hole where the mountain once stood But none of it is true And even when you do get to the actual survivors you ve got to be very cautious about the various agendas mostly shifting blame or identifying divine intervention These guys don t even try They take the most sensationalized accounts as their starting point and build from there.And that ties in with the book s other problem they don t know much if any French This is hugely problematic since it was French investigators who sat down and sorted out the reliable sources from the gobbledygook Any book on St Pierre has to start from these French reports The information that got out to the foreign press was almost exclusively the type of information described above The first English book on St Pierre published 1902 is a perfect example It includes detailed testimonies, including one from the survivor in the prison cell Problem is, the man was not Ciparis but a man called Pierre Bachere and the testimony is entirely false He describes lava flooding through the streets, for example, and describes watching a convent of nuns slowly succumb to the fumes and ash Whoever provided this testimony was clearly not a witness and never so much as set foot in the ruined city I m suspicious of this book s other English sources too Father Alte Roche almost certainly a pseudonym as it means old rock is used because he was interviewed in the New York Times which explains the focus on the American consul , but the extracts from his account often merge poorly with those found elsewhere Or maybe he s just being misrepresented since they ve expanded his brief interview into several chapters worth of material Similar reliance on rumor probably account for mistaken claims like Ciparis awaiting execution for murder That s an astonishingly careless mistake to make and I can t convince myself they didn t know this was false when they wrote it.Their unreliability is made much worse by their immense confidence in the little French they do have, which provides a grossly distorted view of the few French eyewitness testimonies they do look at and makes it hard to say where confusion ends and fiction begins The most notable example is in the interview with Landes published in Les Colonies, where the claim that Landes got from Perrinelle on the hills above St Pierre to tang Sec in the very crater of the erupting mountain in a matter of hours is rightly ridiculed But that is not what the French says and even the slightest attempt at analysis would show that such a claim could never be expected to convince locals who werefamiliar with the terrain than people like me looking at maps which the book doesn t include incidentally What it actually says is that he observed the tang Sec from Perrinelle Which makes perfect sense It would have been impossible to see from down in the city Translation problems may also account for the major differences between the account of survivors like L andre and their version Either that or they relied on legends and innuendo again If that s the case though, it s odd that L andre s account here is actually less exciting than that one Possibly they changed it because it was too unbelievable If I ran a casino I would not let that man into my doors He was just too impossibly lucky.And of course, the authors also know nothing of volcanoes In fact, Landes, who died uncomprehending the nature of what killed him, knewabout volcanoes than they do, even if he didn t know the one thing that mattered most nobody then did Their counterargument to his claim that the massive lahar mudslide had released pressure inside the volcano a belief entirely in keeping with what was known at the time was to say that the volcano was still alive anything could happen, which is both factually incorrect and rather insulting They then suggest the lahar proves that lava too could cut a new path, which is false both because the lahar didn t carve a new path or threaten St Pierre and because lava is much slower and less dangerous The valleys would have protected the city, just as Landes had said Further, they repeat facts that weren t true Lava flows, for example, never happened Nor did the opening of vents under villages, which I think is a confused account of a minor pyroclastic flow And the descriptions of the ground opening up and swallowing people only to reseal itself is Grade A baloney The whole description of the mountain ismagic than science, and as this was one of the most studied volcanoes of the 20th century I find the presence of magic mountain thinkinga matter of incompetence than style.You can see the problem I have reviewing this book Do I judge it by its entertainment value Or do I judge it by its accuracy Because it was one of the most enthralling books I ve ever read, even if I was suspicious of the grandiloquence of some of its accounts I can certainly recommend it as a great and imaginative work of fiction.But I think the reason that I m going to be harsh on this book is a very personal one When I found out I d been lied to, and quite deliberately too, I felt a tremendous sense of betrayal If that sounds an overly emotional reason to make a decision that s fair, but I do feel that there s a certain degree of trust we give naturally to nonfiction writers We have to trust them because otherwise what s the point Are we going to dig into the archives and research everything ourselves And completely inventing and distorting facts to fit your agenda, even if it s the largely harmless one of telling a good yarn, is not something I can forgive We have enough trouble discerning truth in this world of fake news and propaganda Had the authors set out to write a novel on the disaster I d have given them an almost completely free pass because there s no bond of trust broken But this, I feel, is a different matter.Anyone interested in a better account of the eruption should check out La Catastrophe, which is perhaps too revisionist and defensive but extremely good on what actually happened within the volcano and what the experts at the time were aware of Mont Pelee and the Tragedy of Martinique is outdated, but as a study by an expert volcanologist of the day 1903 who personally visited the devastated area it can t be topped At least not in English I hear The Last Days of St Pierre is good, but Lord knows I m suspicious of reading another popular account after this one.A few of the lies the book tells or repeats when it should have known better Governor Louis Guillaume not just Louis Mouttet sent no word of the month long eruption to the Colonial Office in Paris until May 4, and then only to inform them it was dying out he actually sent a message on May 3, the day after the volcano started erupting in earnest, and described it as a serious situation, though he didn t request assistance Governor Mouttet lounged around his office, doing nothing to respond to the disaster he rushed to Le Pr cheur, a village past St Pierre, the morning after the eruption covered it in dust on May 2 and returned on May 5, after a fierce argument with the captain of the naval cruiser Suchet, to encourage its evacuation To St Pierre sadly, since it was widely regarded as the safest place in the area, but his response time to trouble spots was excellent and hardly indifferent The Progressive Party was all about white supremacy and monarchism racial, and French, politics are complicated, but many of the chief local supporters of the party, including Marius Hurard, were mulatto In fact, Hurard s paper described itself as the first newspaper for Colored Republicans in Martinique It saccurate to say it was conservative and secular bourgeois Republican Governor Mouttet was a radical Progressive, white supremacist, and monarchist he was actually a rabid Leftist and thus Clerc s opponent Senator Am dee Knight was black and a member of the diametrically opposed Radical Party he was in fact mulatto, a distinction of indifference to us but one that meant everything to contemporaries, and the Radical Party and Progressive Party were currently in a coalition He also worked regularly with Governor Mouttet and they seemed to get along Governor Mouttet refused to go to St Pierre until May 7, when he was to attend a banquet scheduled in his honor he was there every day after the eruption began except for May 3 and 4 The outside world was kept intentionally in the dark about Mt Pel e s eruption The captain of the Roddam was told about the Guerin disaster within a day despite being on a different island The eruption was no secret, it s just that the English one happening at the same time looked worse Refugees were locked up and prevented from leaving this never happened and they regarded St Pierre as a place of safety Soldiers were brought in to keep people from leaving again, they didn t, and none of the Fort de France garrison died in St Pierre so they couldn t have been there Dr Gu rin s workers were wiped out because he was greedily trying to gather his sugar cane crop in before the volcano destroyed it Sugar cane harvesting was already completed by May Professor Gaston Landes died in the arboretum among the plants he loved so much he died in his own garden, which may be a further example of inept translation, and, apart from the nature of his wounds, this account differs drastically from other accounts Auguste Ciparis was about to be executed for murder he was in prison for a violent brawl and was only in solitary because he had escaped and later turned himself in Governor Mouttet pardoned Ciparis right before the explosion to help win the election well if he wasn t about to be executed how could he be pardoned L on Comp re L andre s story, in direct quotes no less , bears little resemblance to his actual account But that was in French, so Casualties are always greatly exaggerated The Gu rin disaster, for example, only killed 1 8 the number this book claims And there were in fact no known casualties in Le Pr cheur and Ajoupa Bouillon, the towns he claims were almost completely destroyed on May 4, until the day of the disasterI believe most of the telegrams, like the quotes, are completely made up A few of the crucial facts it omits The elections were important, but they were for the French Chamber of Deputies, not any local position Any local effects would have been minimal Inasmuch as the political arguments can be reduced to a single idea, the fight seems to have been over how integrated independent the colonies should be from the mother country, with the Progressives favoring greater independence and the Radicals greater integration As there were important mulattos on both sides, the end of white supremacy cannot have been the leading issue.Clerc the disinterested nonpolitical man had been mayor of La Trinit for the last seven years Mayor Fouch was an ally, not opponent, of Senator Knight.There was nobody on the island better qualified than the admittedly amateur members of the Commission of Inquiry Seriously, who in a small city on the Caribbean could be considered an expert And even if one of these rare experts had sailed from France on the day the eruption began he couldn t have reached the city in time They used who they had on hand because they had to.Gaston Landes, the chief scientist in the Commission of Inquiry, was not a scientist with a respected reputation in America and France but a local schoolteacher with no geological training or experience The French professeur is of lower status than the English professor So the constant sniping at the incompetence of his expert opinion is entirely unfair He never claimed to be one.A few of the unsupported statements slanders basically it makes Governor Mouttet bribed Hurard to print stories keeping people in town so they could vote think about it only two people could have known this if it were true and both died in the explosion Also, the two were not allies but rather opponents Mayor Fouch and Governor Mouttet spent all their time obsessing over a banquet instead of responding to the disaster these two were very busy Fouche even wrote a helpful poster and had it plastered on the walls The Commission of Inquiry was designed solely to get people to remain in the city based on whose testimony Governor Mouttet was a raffish, conniving, and corrupt political hack and wanted to work in the colonies because of the retinue of servants, long siestas, and high balls I mean, this might be true, but these authors sure wouldn t know it because they did no research in French With regards to Mouttet, authorial bias is so extreme as to be positively disgusting He is lambasted on page after page for not reacting decisively or taking the situation seriously, but then a few pages later he s castigated for establishing a Commision of Inquiry without seeking Paris approval first And then he s further criticized for making them rush instead of taking a month as the previous commission investigating an inactive Pel e had It s obvious that nothing this man did could have been right in the authors eyes Incidentally, L Heure, their key source for the governor s growing inability to confront reality, isguilty of everything here than Mouttet ever was Even after the disaster showed how lethal Pel e was, he forced refugees back to their villages by threatening to cut off their aid 1,500 died needlessly and diverted rescue missions in order to recover the treasury stored in St Pierre s bank I would not trust a negative assessment from this reprehensible man if he had been judging Adolf Hitler This is a very sobering look at how local government, the church, the media, and science failed to protect the 29,000 people who perished in the 1902 eruption of Mount Pelee on the island of Martinique If you are interested in how human beings react or don t react until it s too late to natural disasters, this is a must read I found this well researched book a real page turner.