A Century of Man-Made Disasters

A Century of Man-Made Disasters

by Nigel Blundell


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This book is a catalog of disaster – literally. Within its pages are the major man-made calamities that shocked the world throughout the twentieth century.

It was a period during which the power and scale of industrialization changed the planet, an unforeseen consequence being the creation of more human-created catastrophes than ever before experienced.

The events recorded here include the needless carnage of history’s worst air disaster when two jumbo jets collided on the island of Tenerife. We recall the horrors of Aberfan, the Welsh village in which schoolchildren were buried alive. The story of the explosion aboard the Challenger space shuttle reveals how warnings that were ignored led to the deaths of seven astronauts. And we report on the failings that caused the nuclear nightmare at Chernobyl, a poisonous blot on the face of the globe.

These and the other misadventures in this book were all man-made and, it seems, just waiting to happen. A further link between these horrific events is that they were all caused by either folly or greed – or both.

But despite the tales of monstrous misfortune, many also produced heart-lifting stories of human resilience, selflessness, sacrifice and heroism.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781526748683
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 12/27/2019
Series: Images of the Past Series
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

NIGEL BLUNDELL is a journalist who has worked in Australia, the United States and Britain. He spent twenty-five years in Fleet Street before becoming a contributor to national newspapers. He is author of more than 50 factual books, including best-sellers on celebrity and crime.

Table of Contents

Introduction 7

1 The 'Unsinkable' Titanic (1912) 9

2 Five-Train Catastrophe (1915) 21

3 Brought Down by Pride (1930) 31

4 End of a Nazi Dream (1937) 43

5 Nightmare in a Tunnel (1944) 53

6 Child Victims of Aberfan (1966) 61

7 Price of the Space Race (1960s) 75

8 Soccer's Nightmares (1970s-1980s) 85

9 Town's Cloud of Death (1976) 97

10 Jumbo Jets Collide (1977) 103

11 Shattered Dream of Space (1986) 115

12 The Nuclear Nightmare (1986) 123

13 Calamity in the Channel (1987) 133

14 Alaska's Toxic Tragedy (1989) 141

15 Ferry Families' Icy End (1994) 151

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