The Big Story: Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson

“The Cubans wrote of hunches and beliefs, sunsets and foreboding. Where Americans saw numbers, the Cubans saw poetry. Dark poetry perhaps—the works of Poe and Baudelaire—but poetry all the same.” Erik Larson, Isaac’s Storm


If we ever thought we had the ability to predict the weather, or forecast the destruction of major hurricanes, Hurricane Katrina of 2005 and Superstorm Sandy of 2012 disabused us of the notion. If we, with our twenty-first century technology, are unable to predict a storm’s destructive path, then how could one man be prepared for the second most devastating hurricane in US history, the Galveston Hurricane of 1900?



In Isaac’s Storm, author Erik Larson skillfully builds a heartbreaking tale of courage, ambition, salvation, and devastation while revealing the strengths and weaknesses of the titular character Isaac Monroe Cline. A man of his era, Cline exhibited all the hubris of a dedicated scientist in an emerging field while reveling in scientific endeavors that challenged the adventures depicted by one of his favorite authors, Jules Verne.


“Meticulously researched, Isaac’s Storm is based on Cline’s own letters, telegrams, and reports, the testimony of scores of survivors. Ultimately, however, it is the story of what can happen when human arrogance meets nature’s last great uncontrollable force. As such, Isaac’s Storm carries a warning for our time.” (


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