Tells the story in all of its pulse-quickening detail.
Rarely is a nonfiction book so compelling that it demands to be read in one sitting. But Thomas Neil Knowles' straighforward retelling of the 1935 hurricane that leveled Florida's Middle Keys is the exception. Knowles provides a sobering yet gripping account of the storm's ferocity and at the same time personalizes its consequences by making us care about the people it affected. And if you are a fan of the Keys' special charms, the author's descriptions of life there in the mid-1930s will add to your understanding of why it is such a unique place to so many people.
Tells in great detail--including in the words of seven survivors--the story of the hurricane that killed an estimated 400 people, the majority of them military veterans, from Marathon to Tavernier.
--Key West Citizen Hurricane Guide
This book carefully documents the unpredictability of the storm and the failures of meteorologists to succesfully track its progress.
Knowles skillfully takes into account the natural events, social consequences, and politics in his comprehensive history. Knowles's book is a useful contribution and provides a unique perspective on an important episode in the state's history that had not just local but national consequences.
--Tampa Bay History
Knowles sets out to provide 'a true account' of the hurricane that struck the Upper Florida Keys on Labor Day, September 2, 1935. The author reconstructs the storm's formation, growth, and eventual landfall from numerous survivor interviews, first-person accounts, published reminiscences, and transcripts of public hearings held after the event. Dramatic anecdotes about those affected by the hurricane play out within the context of U.S. weather service history, the on-again, off-again development of the Florida Keys, and Great Depression public works programs utilizing unemployed veterans. Knowles has taken full advantage of records from the Dixie. The perspectives of the captain, crew members, and passengers complement and round out the accounts from land-based victims. Excellent maps and useful appendixes aid the reader in following the course of events.
--Journal of Southern History
A remarkable story of courage and perseverance.
An excellent source for historians who which to place storms such as Katrina within a larger historical sweep and broader analytical context.
--Reviews in American History