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Hurricanes and The Middle Atlantic States

2008 non-fiction/reference book bu Rick Schwartz

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Bit of a stretch as a cover-to-cover read but a magnificent reference volume

  • Dec 4, 2008
  • by
Over the years any number of books have been written about the devastating hurricanes that have struck coastal New England. Likewise, there are a whole host of books available about the history of hurricanes in the great state of Florida. Yet, when he sought to do some research on the history of hurricanes in the Middle Atlantic states Rick Schwartz discovered to his great consternation that very little had been written about the subject and that no really comprehensive book on this topic had ever been written. So Rick Schwartz decided to correct this glaring oversight himself. After more than six years of painstaking research "Hurricanes And The Middle Atlantic States" was released in 2007. This is a book that proves to be well worth your time and attention.

As the complete title would indicate "Hurricanes And The Middle Atlantic States: A Surprising History...From Jamestown To The Present" traces the history of hurricanes in this region from colonial times until the present day. It is a fascinating study. Rick Schwartz conducted more than 100 interviews in putting together this superb book. He also unearthed old newspaper articles, personal letters and state and local government documents in attempting to cobble together the real story. Consequently, there is an interesting narrative on almost all of the storms Rick decided to cover in his book. Schwartz also made a very wise decision by choosing to include track maps on a good many of these hurricanes. This feature greatly enhances the readers understanding of the storms and underscores just how unpredictable they can be. In addition, the inclusion of more than 200 black and white photographs helps readers to gage the full impact of these powerful cyclones and serves to emphasize the need for coastal communities to carefully reconsider public policies that have allowed for reckless overdevelopment on the waterfront. The question is not "if" these areas will be struck by a major hurricane in the future but only "when". Then there is the enormous toll these storms exact on everyday people. For all too many, life will never be the same again. Schwartz devotes considerable time to those who are victimized by hurricanes as well as those public officials who must find new and creative ways to deal with the devastation. High winds, heavy rain, tornadoes and flooding can all combine to wreak havoc for residents in the affected areas. Finally, I would be remiss if I failed to make mention of some of the fascinating local folklore that Rick Schwartz managed to sprinkle in throughout this book. Outstanding stuff!

Every now and then I come across a book like "Hurricanes And The Middle Atlantic States" that really seems to be much more appropriate as a reference volume. This is no knock on Rick Schwartz. This book is extremely well written, meticulously researched and thoughtfully laid out. Yet the stories inevitably do tend to become a bit repetitive and I found myself losing just a bit of interest from time to time. This is hardly surprising when one realizes that this book covers more than 300 years of hurricane history! Having said that, "Hurricanes And The Middle Atlantic States" remains an extremely important addition to the literature on hurricanes in this nation and deserves a spot not only on the shelves of libraries in the Middle Atlantic region but in other parts of the country as well. It is a book that students, researchers and general interest readers will turn to time and again in the decades to come. Highly recommended!

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Paul Tognetti ()
Ranked #2
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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A tropical cyclone is a storm system characterized by a low pressure center and numerous thunderstorms that produce strong winds and flooding rain. Tropical cyclones feed on heat released when moist air rises, resulting in condensation of water vapor contained in the moist air. They are fueled by a different heat mechanism than other cyclonic windstorms such as nor'easters, European windstorms, and polar lows, leading to their classification as "warm core" storm systems.

The term "tropical" refers to both the geographic origin of these systems, which form almost exclusively in tropical regions of the globe, and their formation in Maritime Tropical air masses. The term "cyclone" refers to such storms' cyclonic nature, with counterclockwise rotation in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise rotation in the Southern Hemisphere. Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by many other names, such as hurricane, typhoon, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, and simply cyclone.

While tropical cyclones can produce extremely powerful winds and torrential rain, they are also able to produce high waves and damaging storm surge as well as spawning tornadoes. They develop over large bodies of warm water, and lose their strength if they move over land. This is the reason coastal regions can receive significant damage from a tropical cyclone, while inland regions are relatively safe from receiving strong winds. Heavy rains, however, can produce ...

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ISBN-10: 0978628004
ISBN-13: 978-0978628000
Author: Rick Schwartz
Genre: Hurricanes, Natural Disasters, Reference
Publisher: Blue Diamond Books
Date Published: September 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
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