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The most striking aspect of this tale is the timeliness of the topics it touches on. Describing Americans being persecuted because of their ethnicity, a sagging economy boosted by war, and terrorism on U.

Overall, this is another piece in the jigsaw puzzle that is Boston's long and rich history. View Full Version of PW. More By and About This Author.

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The most inspiring quality of Stephen Puleo's book Dark Tide, is evidence of his intensive research apparent throughout the entire text. Carefully-chosen details reveal the influence of national events on the citizens of Boston as well as the horrors and long-term impact surrounding the molasses flood found in the community during the years through Puleo incorporates personal sentiments of those affected by the flood through direct quotes and story-telling strategies, propelling the reader quickly to the end of the book.

Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 (Paperback)

While there are no endnotes, several pages of bibliographic essays provide the reader with more sources to pursue about various topics presented. The horrific nature of the flood comes to life in Puleo's book, silencing the giggles and comments that suggest a "molasses flood" was a silly or comic event.


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Puleo follows several key people who were part of the flood - Arthur Jell, responsible for the tank holding the molasses, William Connor, a firefighter trapped by the flood, Martin Clougherty, a bartender who lost family members to the flood, Hugh Ogden, who found the company liable for the disaster, and Charles Choate, Jr. The movement toward Prohibition, economic challenges and labor union strikes such as the Boston Police strike help the reader understand how the defense of USIA could focus on external reasons for the failure of the molasses tank rather than solely on company liability.

Puleo explains why the molasses tank was placed on Commercial Street in a highly populated region of Boston - many Italian immigrants lived in the area and would remain silent rather than be accused of being anarchists or troublemakers. There was a great deal of money to be made from industrial alcohol during the war.