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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Book Review: How 4 Feet of Plywood Saved the Grand Canyon by Jerry Borrowman

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Book Description:

History turns on small points. From the world's most catastrophic game of chicken to the nail-biting success story at the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River, discover fascinating events you've probably never heard of. In this collection of eight true stories from the forgotten pages of history, learn about disasters caused by human error as well as calamities avoided by quick and clever thinking—the lawsuit that launched Abraham Lincoln's political career, the collapse of the Teton Dam, the invention that revolutionized the world of sound, and more. This book is truly love at first sight for lovers of history.

Rorie's Review:

Since I live in the boonies, Media Mail tends to be hit or miss out here, and this time it was a miss. I'm pretty sure this book came to me via horse and cart by how long it took to get to me. At any rate, I've only been able to read about half of it so far.
The description of the book intrigued me - I've always been interested in history, especially the quirky parts of history that you won't really find in a history textbook. Not to mention the title. How could you not want to read more to find out what that's all about?

The first story was about the Halifax explosion, and it captured my attention right away. I had never heard of this terrible tragedy before, but boy, was it a big one! The next few stories kind of slowed down for me though and I found myself having to re-read parts a time or two before I understood what the author was explaining. The stories are interesting, but I think the author put a little too much detail in there, making it a bit on the dry side.

I am still interested in finishing the book - after all, I still haven't found out how a piece of plywood saved the Grand Canyon!

Tarah's Review: 

I'll admit I struggled with this book. I love history, but I like it to read more like a human interest piece rather than an academic paper, and while parts in this book were what I was looking for, I felt that too much of it was bogged down with a lot of details that the lay person wouldn't understand.

The stories themselves were really interesting, and it made me wonder how the author chose which stories to write about since they were all over the place, from dams to volcanos, to floods, to Bose speakers.

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Title: How 4 Feet of Plywood Saved the Grand Canyon
Author: Jerry Borrowman
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Published: May 2016
ISBN: 1524400289 
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a review. 

Purchase: Amazon Deseret Book