Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919

by STephen Puleo | Nonfiction |
ISBN: 0807050210 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 7/12/2008
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, July 12, 2008
I'd read and enjoyed this book a while back (and made a themed release of this copy among the molasses in a local supermarket!), and when I found this fair-condition trade-paperback copy at a local Annie's Book Stop - with a new afterword, yet - I had to pick it up.

The book wasn't quite what I expected, but was an interesting read. It's more of a snapshot of local and world events at the time, with the disaster as a unifying element; anarchist bombings, impending Prohibition, World War I, the great influenza epidemic - all of these affected the situation, either as an indirect cause of the tank failure or as part of the lengthy and costly court case that followed. (There's a brief history of the molasses trade itself, which had a bigger role than I'd have thought; it was part of a three-way circuit of trade including slaves and rum, the "Triangle Trade". New England ships would carry cargos of rum to Africa to trade for slaves; the slaves would be sold in the West Indies for new cargoes of local goods including large quantities of molasses, which would be hauled back to New England to be distilled into rum...)

Was the failure of the tank due to hasty construction, brought on by a desire to make as much profit as possible before Prohibition kicked in? Was it due to anarchist bombs, or to sabotage? The evidence seems clear enough now, but at the time of the event people weren't so sure. The book sets the scene, describes the location and the people involved, builds to the day of the disaster itself, and after recounting the destruction caused by the collapse and the heartbreaking agonies of the victims and survivors, devotes the last half of the text to the trial, and to the lingering effects of the case on safety statutes and on the survivors. It's a bit dry, all in all, but contained a lot of information that I hadn't known about Boston circa 1919.

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Puopolo Park in Boston, Massachusetts USA on Saturday, March 28, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (3/28/2009 UTC) at Puopolo Park in Boston, Massachusetts USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

I've been wanting to visit the site of the molasses flood for some time, even though it's completely changed since then. I plan to leave this book somewhere near the Molasses Flood plaque on Commercial St. near Puopolo Park at about 1. Hope the finder enjoys it!

Update: I found the plaque fairly easily; it's right across Commercial St. from the Copps Hill Terrace park. [See the photo in the previous journal entry for a closeup of the plaque and book; this picture's a longer view to give a better idea of the location.] It was a really lovely day, and I wish I'd had more time to roam around; will have to visit again!

Journal Entry 3 by wingAnonymousFinderwing on Thursday, April 23, 2009
have not read yet, just want to see where it has been, i plan on reading it at a later date.

CAUGHT IN BOSTON MASSACHUSSETS UNITED STATES

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