How 4 Feet of Plywood Saved the Grand Canyon
Early reviews are in fast and positive – take a look!
From Elizabeth Reid: Borrowman begins his riveting book by detailing the Halifax explosion in amazing detail and emotion; he then goes on to recount other little-known historical accounts in short, yet fascinating, bites. Borrowman explains how Abraham Lincoln rose from little-known lawyer to prominence because of a lawsuit between a railroad and a steamship company. He then goes on to recount his own personal drama with the collapse of the Teton Dam and how its aftermath affected his life. He also tells of another dam’s near collapse, how it would have wiped out the Grand Canyon and the marvelous feat of engineering put forth to save the both the structure and the miles of property within its path.
In all, eight historical stories grace the pages of “How 4 Feel of Plywood Saved the Grand Canyon.” While some, such as the super volcano beneath Yellowstone National Park, are probably well-known to most history and geology buffs, others are not. Each story is less than 25 pages, easy to read and fascinating to learn.
From Jeanette Jacobson: Awesome book. Extremely interesting to read parts of our American history that I knew nothing about.
Chapter 1 – The Halifax Explosion and the Boston Christmas Tree
A preventable game of “chicken” led to a collision in Halifax Harbor in 1917 that caused the largest explosion in human history. Thousands died and hundreds blinded by shattered glass. Learn why Halifax sends a Christmas tree to Boston every year in commemoration.
Chapter 2 – The Yellowstone Supervolcano
Raise your hand if you’ve visited Yellowstone Park. Raise it again if you realize that it sits atop the world’s largest active super volcano; the place with the largest eruption in the geologic record. And it’s now 20,000 years overdue for its next eruption….
Chapter 3 – Abraham Lincoln and the Rock Island Railroad Bridge Disaster
Just how did a collision between a steamboat and the first railroad bridge across the Mississippi River contribute to the election of Abraham Lincoln three and a half years later?
Chapter 4 – Collapse of the Teton Dam
Supporters cheered as the brand new Teton Dam reservoir filled in 1976. But critics thought it was built on geologically unstable ground. When the dam failed, thousands were displaced and billions of dollars lost in the predominantly LDS communities of Eastern Idaho. How could the Bureau of Reclamation have made such a mistake?
Chapter 5 – Vanderbilt Goes to War
Cornelius Vanderbilt was a fiercely competitive business tycoon. At one point he controlled 1 out of ever $20 in circulation. But he was also a patriot in the Civil War who put his fortune at the disposal of the federal government to preserve the Union.
Chapter 6 – The Final Push of the Union Pacific
The Union Pacific Railroad was Lincoln’s final legacy. A magnificent undertaking, construction almost ground to a halt in the mountain wilderness of Utah. That is until Brigham Young stepped in with men and materials to complete the job.
Read about how impressed Stephen Ambrose was by Brigham Young’s involvement with the railroad here.
Chapter 7 – “Invisible Empire of the Air”
When was the last time your heart pounded to the beat of a great sound system at a concert or movie? Just how do people amplify sound with such astonishing clarity? Discover the invention of the triode vacuum tube that made our modern world possible.
Chapter 8 – How Four Feet of Plywood Saved the Grand Canyon
Glen Canyon Dam is a colossus on the Colorado River, second largest reservoir in North America. And it nearly failed in the floods of 1983. What saved it was an idea from Richard Fehr to use four feet of plywood to save the dam and the Grand Canyon below the lake. This is the greatest disaster you