Natural, Technological, and Societal Disasters in the Volunteer State
A one-of-a-kind reference book, Tennessee Tragedies examines a wide variety of disasters that have occurred in the Volunteer State over the past several centuries. Intended for both general readers and emergency management professionals, it covers natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes; technological events such as explosions, transportation wrecks, and structure fires; and societal incidents including labor strikes, political violence, lynchings, and other hate crimes.
At the center of the book are descriptive accounts of 150 of the state’s most severe events. These range from smallpox epidemics in the eighteenth century to the epic floods of 1936–37, from the Sultana riverboat disaster of 1865 (the worst inland marine accident in U.S. history) to the 1968 assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Included as well are stories of plane crashes, train wrecks, droughts, economic panics, and race riots. An extensive chronology provides further details on more than 900 incidents, the most complete listing ever compiled for a single state. The book’s introduction examines topics that include our fascination with such tragedies; major causes of death, injury, and destruction; and the daunting problems of producing accurate accountings of a disaster’s effects, whether in numbers of dead and injured or of economic impact. Among the other features are a comprehensive glossary that defines various technical terms and concepts and tables illustrating earthquake, drought, disease, and tornado intensity scales.
A work of great historical interest that brings together for the first time an impressive array of information,Tennessee Tragedies will prove exceptionally useful for those who must respond to inevitable future disasters.