Isaac's Storm. Larson, Eric, 1999. New York: Crown Publishers, 323p., $25.00 USD.


  • Joseph T. Kelley


Isaac's Storm tells the story of the Galveston, Texas, Hurricane of Sept 8-9, 1900 as the central event in the life of Isaac Cline, the Galveston representative of the U.S. Weather Service (USWS). Though the book chronicles Cline's life, it is not his biography. Rather, it is an historical account of the consequences of the inability of a man (Cline) and a public agency (USWS) to understand or predict the what-would-become the worst natural disaster in United States history. The most gripping anecdotes describe survivors of the disaster, and though lacking in illustrations, these are positively riveting. I read most of this book during a trans-Atlantic flight, and could not put it down.