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This Gulf of Fire by Mark Molesky
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This Gulf of Fire

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This Gulf of Fire by Mark Molesky
Paperback $25.00
Oct 18, 2016 | ISBN 9780307387509

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    Oct 18, 2016 | ISBN 9780307387509

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  • Nov 03, 2015 | ISBN 9781101875827

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“A gripping and valuable history … [Molesky] has uncovered new sources on this much-studied disaster, allowing him not only to provide novel anecdotes and insights but also to contribute to debates about the earthquake’s impact on eighteenth-century political and intellectual struggles … A fabulously written monograph that contributes a great deal and never veers toward history lite.”
 -Charles F. Walker, The American Historical Review

“Superb … Engrossing … A welcome resurrection of an epic tragedy … Molesky’s gripping portrait … is gleaned from a seemingly endless number of firsthand accounts. [His] narrative … transports you to the midst of this horror.”
-William O’Connor, The Daily Beast
“Richly readable … [Molesky] paints an astonishing picture of the natural cataclysm that struck Lisbon on Nov. 1, 1755.”
-Michael Upchurch, The Seattle Times
“The definitive history of the Lisbon earthquake and its aftermath. [This Gulf of Fire] combines exhaustive research with dramatic eyewitness accounts and modern discoveries in geology and seismology … Molesky has masterfully revived [the Lisbon tragedy] here. [This is] a powerful story about human and cultural loss and recovery that is hard to forget.”
R.W. Clark, Washington Independent Review of Books
“Molesky’s rendering of the continent-wide philosophical debate following the earthquake is particularly lucid.”
Henrik Bering, The New Criterion

“[A] vivid portrayal . . . Molesky’s story is well-informed and well-paced . . . [and] fluent prose and vivid vignettes keep the reader engaged . . . Molesky paints a dolorous picture of the decadence of the pre-earthquake city . . .  [and] knows everything worth knowing about the quake.”
—Felipe Fernández-Armesto, The Wall Street Journal

“Molesky brings to vivid and horrifying life a disaster that forever changed Lisbon and provoked a Europe-wide debate about God and the workings of nature.” 
—Matthew Price, The Boston Globe
“A thoroughly absorbing take on a momentous event . . . Anyone interested in history and especially disaster history will find this book enthralling.” 
—Laura Hiatt-Smith, Library Journal
“[A] masterpiece of nonfiction.”

“Excellent . . . a comprehensive account of nearly every aspect of the disaster . . . As in any disaster story, great heroism and great treachery abounded, and Molesky shows us plenty of examples of both . . . [and] also places this earthquake firmly in its historical context, arguing that the quake and its resultant disasters helped to shape the 18th century.”
—Emily Cataneo, Christian Science Monitor

“Humanity’s perennial battles between faith and reason have always been tested most intensely in times of calamity. The Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 was the first and most dramatic of such tests in the modern era, and the great calamity has long been waiting for its historian. Now it has its brilliant chronicler and analyst in Mark Molesky whose This Gulf of Fire is an extraordinary marriage of fine, vivid narrative and sharp, clear thought. Full of poignant stories, it makes gripping reading and like all powerful histories stays around in one’s mind long after the last page is read.”
—Simon Schama

“Mesmerizingly comprehensive…Magisterial in its account of a world-changing event, this is a book to savor.” 
John S. Major, The History Book Club
“Focused, well-researched, and fascinating….This smart, comprehensive, colorful account shows readers Lisbon’s phoenix-like recovery from destruction that is now nearly forgotten, and how it ushered in a more recognizably modern response to large-scale natural disasters.”
Publishers Weekly

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