Download A Disastrous History of the World: Chronicles of War, by John Withington PDF

By John Withington

John Withington's booklet is an epic trip during the annals of the disastrous occasions that experience marked human heritage. partially I are all of the significant common calamities - floods, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, tsunamis, plague and famine. half II describes in vibrant aspect the best man-made mess ups - struggle and invasion, persecution and bloodbath, riots and terrorism, explosions and fires, shipwrecks and air crashes. Out of all this horror, the writer produces a hugely interesting and throught-provoking publication.

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Most just stared 'with silent grief'. The fires would burn for six days and destroy up to 85 per cent of the city, including many churches, along with the patriarch's palace, the Inquisition's headquarters, thirty monasteries, and scores of convents. Meanwhile, the red-light district survived unscathed. The brand-new opera house, opened only six months before and named, ironically, the TSUNAMIS 49 Phoenix Opera, was levelled. The Royal Ribeira Palace was destroyed, along with its 70,000-volume library and pictures by Titian, Rubens and Correggio.

He managed to escape by knotting sheets together and climbing down. Other guests jumped out of the hotel's windows but did not survive the fall. Another guest woke up when the roof collapsed. He found himself trapped, unable to move his hands or his feet, but he noticed a faint ray of light near his head. It appeared to be blocked by a curtain, so he bit a hole through it, then managed to shout loud enough to attract the attention of rescuers. A local man named Francesco Calabresi said the earth 'rocked from side to side as if it were in pain'.

Some fainted while others laughed hysterically. The earthquake came as people were cooking lunch on the open charcoal braziers found in most Japanese homes at the time. As these fell over, they started hundreds of fires, which eventually did more damage than the quake. Within minutes, thousands of homes were ablaze, and those who had stayed inside at first came running out, carrying whatever they could. Tokyo had a few modern concrete blocks on broad streets, but most of the city was still like an enormous village, with narrow paths winding between densely packed single-storey houses, built of timber, paper and thatch.

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