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The Last Day: Wrath, Ruin, and Reason in the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755
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Penguin Publishing Group 2008
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Description

The Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 was no run-of-the-mill misfortune-it was a watershed moment that shook the pillars of an inveterate social order and sent reverberations throughout the Western world. Earth, water, wind, and fire all conspired to produce a hellish catastrophe that lasted for a full five days and left Lisbon thoroughly annihilated. Nicholas Shrady's unique account of this first modern disaster and its aftereffects successfully articulates the outcome of the earthquake-the eighteenth-century equivalent of a mass media frenzy giving rise to a host of other fascinating developments, such as disaster preparedness, landmark social reform, urban planning, and the birth of seismology.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
04/10/2008
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781440637438
ASIN:
B0017T0DK0
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Nicholas Shrady. (2008). The Last Day: Wrath, Ruin, and Reason in the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Nicholas Shrady. 2008. The Last Day: Wrath, Ruin, and Reason in the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Nicholas Shrady, The Last Day: Wrath, Ruin, and Reason in the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755. Penguin Publishing Group, 2008.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Nicholas Shrady. The Last Day: Wrath, Ruin, and Reason in the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755. Penguin Publishing Group, 2008. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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fullDescription

The Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 was no run-of-the-mill misfortune-it was a watershed moment that shook the pillars of an inveterate social order and sent reverberations throughout the Western world. Earth, water, wind, and fire all conspired to produce a hellish catastrophe that lasted for a full five days and left Lisbon thoroughly annihilated. Nicholas Shrady's unique account of this first modern disaster and its aftereffects successfully articulates the outcome of the earthquake-the eighteenth-century equivalent of a mass media frenzy giving rise to a host of other fascinating developments, such as disaster preparedness, landmark social reform, urban planning, and the birth of seismology.

reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        January 21, 2008
        The Lisbon earthquake of 1755 exerted a great cultural, religious and political impact, argues Shrady (Tilt: A Skewed History of the Tower of Pisa
        ) in this revelatory volume. On November 1 (both a Sunday and All Saints' Day) at 9:30 a.m., a titanic earthquake shattered the quiet, turning the pious city's packed houses of worship into crypts as their walls collapsed. Five days of firestorms consumed the buildings left standing and a tsunami drowned the benighted survivors who escaped toward the ocean. As Shrady deftly details, Europe was stunned by the merciless destruction of one of the continent's most opulent cities. Leading intellectual and philosophical figures—Voltaire, Rousseau, Pope, Goethe and Kant, among others—became fascinated by the question of divine intervention in human affairs. Lisbon, still home to the Inquisition, had been immolated: was this evidence of God's wrath or of God's nonexistence? The latter interpretation soon found its way into Voltaire's cynical, secularist Enlightenment masterpiece, Candide
        . Within the decade, scholars had created the new discipline of seismology, and governments were taking their first faltering steps toward urban planning and disaster control. Shrady's account will find the same ready audience that delight not only in tales of catastrophe but in smart, stylishly written history.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        March 1, 2008
        At 9:30 on the morning of All Saints Day on November 1, 1755, mass had barely begun in Lisbon, capital city of the most pious country in Christendom, when an earthquake hit, the worst in Europe in modern times. It flattened buildings and killed thousands. Three successive tsunamis followed, wreaking further havoc. Citywide fires, untended because so many had fled, completed the devastation. Estimates are that between 15,000 and 60,000 people died. Destruction on such a scale raised questions: churchmen blamed it on man's sinfulness; skeptics like Voltaire questioned the idea of a benevolent God or, indeed, a god of any kind. When the rhetoric was done, the city still had to be rebuilt. Journalist Shrady ("Tilt: A Skewed History of the Tower of Pisa") offers a modestly edifying read, telling the story of a little-explored incident in history, around which he discusses Lisbon's history since the Carthaginians, the stultifying effects of Portuguese religious intolerance, and, in the most interesting part of the book, the efforts of the king of Portugal's minister, the Marquis of Pombal, to rebuild the city (a success) and move Portugal out of the religious Dark Ages (a failure). Recommended for large public collections.David Keymer, Univ. of California, Merced

        Copyright 2008 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        February 15, 2008
        Shradys vivid account of the mid-eighteenth-century Lisbon earthquake is exemplary popular history.The hellish events of that day in 1755 when the Portuguese capital was left in ruinsLisbon was . . . all but leveledare reconstructed with great but soberdrama. The earthquake itself was followed byfires spreading throughout the city and a series of tsunamis arising from the river upon which Lisbon sat. The author embeds thenarrative of this trio of natural disasters in a lively, completely approachable lesson in pre-earthquake Portuguese history, in which it is stressedthat despite the wealth Portugal accumulated during its glory days as an empire builder, it remained a backward country, held in astranglehold of religious dogma. Shrady also investigates the intellectual aftermath of the disasterall over Europe, forthe cataclysm prompted widespread Enlightenment discussions about God and the natural world.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2008, American Library Association.)

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The Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 was no run-of-the-mill misfortune-it was a watershed moment that shook the pillars of an inveterate social order and sent reverberations throughout the Western world. Earth, water, wind, and fire all conspired to produce a hellish catastrophe that lasted for a full five days and left Lisbon thoroughly annihilated. Nicholas Shrady's unique account of this first modern disaster and its aftereffects successfully articulates the outcome of the earthquake-the eighteenth-century equivalent of a mass media frenzy giving rise to a host of other fascinating developments, such as disaster preparedness, landmark social reform, urban planning, and the birth of seismology.

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