The Furious Sky
by Eric Dolin
Hosted by HLFM director Pierce Rafferty
In this recorded illustrated talk presented October 8, 2022 best-selling historian Eric Jay Dolin, contends we must look to our nation’s past if we hope to comprehend the consequences of the hurricanes of the future. Hurricanes menace North America from June through November every year, each as powerful as 10,000 nuclear bombs. These megastorms will likely become more intense as the planet continues to warm, yet we too often treat them as local disasters and TV spectacles, unaware of how far-ranging their impact can be.
From the moment European colonists laid violent claim to this land, hurricanes have had a profound and visceral impact on American history. Dolin presents the five-hundred-year story of American hurricanes, from the nameless storms that threatened Columbus’ New World voyages, to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the escalation of hurricane season as a result of global warming. Populating his narrative with unlikely heroes such as Benito Viñes, the nineteenth-century Jesuit priest whose revelatory methods for predicting hurricanes saved countless lives, and journalist Dan Rather, whose coverage of a 1961 hurricane would change broadcasting history, Dolin uncovers the often surprising ways we respond to natural crises.