Sunday, April 28, 2013

Blizzard of Glass: The Halifax Explosion of 1917 by Sally M. Walker


During World War I, with all the drama going on overseas, a major tragedy shocked people across the Atlantic. In 1917 in Halifax Harbour in Nova Scotia Canada, the Mont Blanc and the Imo were set to deliver supplies to war-torn Europe. They never made it out of the harbor. The two boats colided and the ensuing explosion caused a tsunami that wiped out most of the towns of Halifax and Richmond, Nova Scotia.
The Explosion

The Aftermath


 The book was met with mostly positive reviews. It's a bit slow at the start, but it builds momentum quickly and takes the reader into the front lines of one of the most tragic chapters of Canadian history. Even though the explosion and aftermath only lasted 5 horifying minutes, every single detail is well explained. It feels like someone is telling you first hand what they experienced. 

I think this is a chapter of history that isn't talked about much in American history classes. I've never heard of it before reading this book. If I were to compare this tragedy to anything, it would be The Titanic. Both these tragedies happened in the north-Atlantic and influenced change in the boating industry. I could see this book and this tragedy being taught in a history class right along side the Titanic. This tragedy deserves just as much attention as the other.

If I were to critique this book, I would say that it is rather slow to start. It is very obviously directed at a younger audience (say 12 years old). The book reads very much like a textbook at times, but makes up for it with great information and an interesting story. I do not believe that this book is suited for an English class, but it could fit into a history class rather nicely.

3 comments:

Nickolas Armstrong said...

This seems like a very interesting read, I have never heard of this event prior to reading your review. It is interesting that this is not a well know event, as impactful as it obviously seems to be. Artificially initializing a tsunami and wiping out two towns is no small deal. Though slow to start books are not my favorite, this book seems like an excellent supplementary history reading. Thank you for your post!!

mkorkmaz said...

This book looks like very informative about that time and world war 1 .And I agree that could be good in history class rather than in English class. I would like to read this book ,I really enjoyed when I read history books.

mkorkmaz said...

This book looks like very informative about that time and world war 1 .And I agree that could be good in history class rather than in English class. I would like to read this book ,I really enjoyed when I read history books.