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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 Audiobook, 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: September 2005 ISBN: 9781400171798
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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!

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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.... Simth 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
  • “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.”

    Kliatt

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 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 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 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 Mark Hunter | 5/31/2013

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brad Topliff | 1/15/2013

    " Well written account of the earthquake and fire. VERY fireman and emergency focussed but also talked about the politics. This book has an opinion about people and isn't afraid to tell you who is good, dumb, bad etc. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cristobal | 1/4/2013

    " being from the area, this is a very interesting and informative read. not exactly a page turner, but still, worth reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dana Woodaman | 6/15/2012

    " Anyone who has ever lived in the city, as we all called San Fransisco, simply must read this book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurie | 5/24/2012

    " Fascinating and upsetting account of the great earthquake/fire of 1906. Apparently the first book to give due credit to several previously unsung heroes of the firefighting, including a naval officer who was from Fort Wayne, IN! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Duff | 2/28/2012

    " I had a bit of a problem with the history/fiction aspect. As a San Franciscan, sometimes irritated by silly errors of place...could have been easily verified. But, there were fascinating moments and it was worth reading. Just wish it had been a better read. Kept hoping that it would be. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jen Fumarolo | 6/20/2011

    " Really great historical account of the great SF earthquake and fires, putting the city into historical, social and economical context. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dana | 1/28/2011

    " Anyone who has ever lived in the city, as we all called San Fransisco, simply must read this book! "

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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.

About the Narrator

Alan Sklar, a graduate of Dartmouth, has excelled in his career as a freelance voice actor. He began narrating audiobooks in 1996, winning seven AudioFile Earphones Awards and earning several “Best Voice” awards. He has also worked as a stage actor and as a promo announcer at WPIX-TV in New York City. His dream is to be an opera singer, a role for which he hones his bass-baritone operatic skills in the upstairs shower of his home.