The Day the World Exploded, August 27, 1883

Book - 2003 | First U.S. edition
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Baker & Taylor
Considers the global impact of the 1883 eruption of the Krakatoa volcano, documenting its cause of an immense tsunami that killed some 40,000 people, its impact on the weather for several years, and its role in anti-Western Islamic fundamentalism. 200,000 first printing. $200,000 ad/promo.

Book News
In this first US edition, the author of the The Map That Changed the World portrays the 19th-century eruption of a Javanese volcano that still has global repercussions in both historical and scientific contexts. The book includes maps and other illustrations. Published in Great Britain by Viking, 2003. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Blackwell North Amer

The bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman and The Map That Changed the World examines the enduring and world-changing effects of the catastrophic eruption off the coast of Java of the earth's most dangerous volcano -- Krakatoa.

The legendary annihilation in 1883 of the volcano-island of Krakatoa -- the name has since become a byword for a cataclysmic disaster -- was followed by an immense tsunami that killed nearly forty thousand people. Beyond the purely physical horrors of an event that has only very recently been properly understood, the eruption changed the world in more ways than could possibly be imagined. Dust swirled round die planet for years, causing temperatures to plummet and sunsets to turn vivid with lurid and unsettling displays of light. The effects of the immense waves were felt as far away as France. Barometers in Bogotá and Washington, D.C., went haywire. Bodies were washed up in Zanzibar. The sound of the island's destruction was heard in Australia and India and on islands thousands of miles away. Most significant of all -- in view of today's new political climate -- the eruption helped to trigger in Java a wave of murderous anti-Western militancy among fundamentalist Muslims: one of the first outbreaks of Islamic-inspired killings anywhere.

Simon Winchester's long experience in the world wandering as well as his knowledge of history and geology give us an entirely new perspective on this fascinating and iconic event as he brings it telling back to life.

& Taylor

Considers the global impact of the 1883 eruption of the Krakatoa volcano, documenting its cause of an immense tsunami that killed 40,000 people, its impact on the weather for several years, and its role in anti-Western Islamic fundamentalism.

Publisher: New York : Harper-Collins, 2003
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9780066212852
Branch Call Number: 551.21 Winchester 2003
Characteristics: xvi, 416 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm


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Jun 16, 2019

A good book, well really how could one go wrong with such an interesting subject as this infamous Krakatoa volcano. It is just that, a big destuctive volcano with some history attached. Our author here may just have attached a little too much as there is little else than the big boom to write about. A satire: "Also in that straight this fatful day was the vessel HMS Whuzit whose captain, Hiram Horntooter, had some peculiarities, such as he had a habit of wearing red every Christmas day, a tradition that can be traced back to Sir Francis Bacon of the Elizabethan era, but it was actually during the early years of King Henry VIII the authentic tradition a wearing of blue instead of red was founded as for the grieving of his first stillborn child and thus causing a further delay in his establishing an heir to his kingdom."
Just get on with the volcano's big boom already!

Cory Clark

Jul 20, 2018

Reminded me of Devil in the White City. The author is able to bring in many different topics while always building toward the eruption

Jan 22, 2017

Terrific book. Fascinating and more than a wee bit scary. A nice mix of science and history.

Nov 17, 2016

I found this book brimming with build up and felt the power of the ultimate event. All done in a human but non-judgmental way.

Jul 26, 2016

Mr. Winchester knows how wrap up the main event in its era, providing historical, geological and local anthropology that leads to the loudest explosion in modern history.

Codexthespius Dec 02, 2013

Winchesters details of the massive explosion are awesome, as is the fact that more people were killed by the tsunami-like waves the volcano caused than by the volcano itself. He explains how the telegraph made Krakatoa the worl's first global media event.

Jan 20, 2013

A hair-raising, riveting account of the violent explosion of the Krakatoa volcano. Thousands lost their lives. It gives new meaning to the "force of nature."

Dec 09, 2009

Very exciting book, and an excellent geology section for the uninformed and the informed.


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