Who survives when disaster strikes and why. A journalistic investigation into man-made and natural disasters with first-person narratives and discussions with researchers about what makes some people more likely to survive than others
Why did I want to read it?
The Book God and I watched a couple of episodes of a series whose name I have now forgotten (Perfect something or other) on one of the satellite channels tucked away somewhere far down the TV listings (I want to say the
Hitler History Channel but that may not be right) which gave dramatic reconstructions of disasters through the ages, e.g. the Lisbon earthquake, the hurricane that flattened Galveston and so on. The acting was pretty awful and the narration overly portentous but the one bright spot in each programme we watched was Amanda Ripley, author of The Unthinkablewho was able to give some insight into how people behave in these situations. So I got the book for my Kindle app.
What did I think about it?
Very easy to read, quite fascinating in places, written int hat breezy American journalistic style that I quite enjoy, assertions supported by proper evidence and a solid set of footnotes. Good author’s note where she goes through her methodology in detail so you can have some confidence in her work. She also gives some practical tips on how to improve your chances. Really interesting.