Title: Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens
Author: Steve Olson
Publisher: W.W. Norton and Company 2017
Genre: Nonfiction - U.S. History; Science
Rating: 4/5 stars
Reading Challenges: UnRead Shelf; Modern Mrs. Darcy - Fascinating Topic; Nonfiction Bingo - Nature
For months in early 1980, scientists, journalists, and nearby residents listened anxiously to rumblings from Mount St. Helens in southwestern Washington State. Still, no one was prepared when a cataclysmic eruption blew the top off of the mountain, laying waste to hundreds of square miles of land and killing fifty-seven people. Steve Olson interweaves vivid personal stories with the history, science, and economic forces that influenced the fates and futures of those around the volcano. Eruption delivers a spellbinding narrative of an event that changed the course of volcanic science, and an epic tale of our fraught relationship with the natural world.
I’m always a sucker for narrative history book and this one was gifted to me by the library. (Thank you summer reading program!) I dove in and realized that I really didn’t know much about the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. Granted it was before I was born, but still, I know a lot of stuff prior to 1982. Reading this book gave me a very clear picture of the run-up to the eruption and the aftermath. I really enjoyed learning about the history of the volcano and the back-and-forth between politicians and scientists about the warning zone. The earth science really got me hooked on the book. I wasn’t as much of. fan of the detailed history of the Weyerhauser family. Sure, the company was important when it came to drawing boundary lines, but I don’t think we needed that detailed of a history. Otherwise, I enjoyed this one.
Next up on the TBR pile: