Extended Audio Sample

Download San Francisco is Burning: The Untold Story of the 1906 Earthquake and Fires Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample San Francisco is Burning: The Untold Story of the 1906 Earthquake and Fires, by Dennis Smith Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (123 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dennis Smith Narrator: Alan Sklar Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
Regular Price: $20.99 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

At 5:12 a.m. on the morning of April 18, 1906, San Francisco was struck by one of the worst earthquakes in history, instantly killing hundreds. The ensuing fires that ravaged the city for days were responsible for the deaths of as many as 3,000 more. In all, 522 blocks and 28,188 buildings were leveled, and some 200,000 people dislocated.

This watershed event in American history has never before been told with the richness of historical detail and insight that our foremost historian of fire, Dennis Smith, brings to it in San Francisco Is Burning. Smith cinematically recounts this terrible tragedy through the stories of the people who lived through those terrible days—from a valiant naval officer who helped save the city’s piers and wharves to Eugene Schmitz, the crooked mayor, to the “debonair scoundrel” Abe Ruef, the most erudite city boss in American history. Throughout, Smith reveals many unknown details about the event, from the city’s great vulnerability to fire—due to its corrupt and hasty building practices—to the widespread racism the quake unleashed and the atrocities committed by national guardsmen. Told with verve and a seasoned firefighter’s knowledge, San Francisco Is Burning is the gripping and definitive account of one of the greatest disasters of the twentieth century.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Smith has always been the chronicler of catastrophic fire, but he always brings to his narratives a powerful sense of the complexity of the human beings who have to deal with its elemental horror.”

    Thomas Keneally, award winning author of Schindler’s List

  • “An American epic, a masterwork…Smith teaches so much we need to know. Simultaneously his literary skills mesmerize us. Best of all he inspires.”

    Thomas Fleming, author of The Illusion of Victory: America in World War I

  • “Sklar’s reading is clear and highly professional.”


Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Chris | 11/27/2013

    " Could have been more interesting, oddly enough considering what it's about. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jessica | 10/16/2013

    " The book was an interesting look into the political and social goings-on in the city at the time of the earthquake, but it took me forever to get through! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Scott | 10/12/2013

    " A wonderful account of the 1906 earthquake and fire. It is amazing that after all of the problems that befell the city because of poor preparation, that the city still is not prepared for another large earthquake today. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Mark Hunter | 5/31/2013

    " An in-depth and gripping account of the Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire. "

  • > Show All
Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author

Dennis Smith is a retired New York City firefighter. He stayed in the fire department an additional nineteen years after the success of his first book, Report from Engine Co. 82. He is the author of numerous books including several other bestsellers about firefighting. He founded Firehouse Magazine and has become an outstanding spokesman for firefighters nationwide. He is currently chairman of First Responders Financial Company and lives in New York City.