A Furious Sky: The Five-Hundred-Year History of America's Hurricanes (Paperback)

A Furious Sky: The Five-Hundred-Year History of America's Hurricanes By Eric Jay Dolin Cover Image
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Washington Post • 50 Notable Works of Nonfiction in 2020

Finalist • Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction

Kirkus Reviews • Best Nonfiction Books of 2020

Library Journal • Best Science & Technology Books of 2020

Booklist • 10 Top Sci-Tech Books of 2020

New York Times Book Review • Editor's Choice


With A Furious Sky, best-selling author Eric Jay Dolin tells the history of America itself through its five-hundred-year battle with the fury of hurricanes.


In this “compelling” chronicle (New York Times Book Review), Eric Jay Dolin tells the history of America through its battles with hurricanes.Weaving together tales of tragedy and folly, of heroism and scientific progress, best-selling author Eric Jay Dolin shows how hurricanes have time and again determined the course of American history, from the nameless storms that threatened the New World voyages to our own era of global warming and megastorms. Along the way, Dolin introduces a rich cast of unlikely heroes, and forces us to reckon with the reality that future storms will likely be worse, unless we reimagine our relationship with the planet.

About the Author


Eric Jay Dolin is the author of fourteen books. His most recent is A Furious Sky: The Five-Hundred-Year History of America's Hurricanes, which received a number of accolades, including being chosen by the Washington Post as one of 50 Notable Works of Nonfiction in 2020, by Kirkus Reviews as one of the Best Nonfiction Books of 2020 (in addition to being a Kirkus Prize finalist), by the Library Journal and Booklist as one of the Best Science & Technology Books of 2020, and by the New York Times Book Review as an "Editor's Choice." Other books include Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America, which was chosen as one of the Best Nonfiction Books of 2007 by the Los Angeles Times and the Boston Globe, and also won the 2007 John Lyman Award for U.S. Maritime History; and Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America's Most Notorious Pirates, which was chosen as a "Must-Read" book for 2019 by the Massachusetts Center for the Book, and was a finalist for the 2019 Julia Ward Howe Award given by the Boston Author's Club. A graduate of Brown, Yale, and MIT, where he received his Ph.D. in environmental policy, Dolin lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts, with his family.

Praise For…


[A] lively chronicle of five tempestuous centuries . . . Where A Furious Sky is most compelling is in its often harrowing details. It’s filled with haunting personal stories.

— Elizabeth Kolbert - New York Times Book Review

Fascinating and heart-wrenching.... Following the science, Dolin soberly concludes: 'Hurricanes of the future will most likely be worse than those of the past.
— Michael Taube - Washington Post

[A Furious Sky is] ultra readable maritime history.

— Lauren Daley - Boston Globe

[Dolin] blends lovely writing with clear explanations of technical concepts . . . With active language and sharp characters, he puts us in scene . . . Thanks to Dolin’s reporting and framing, each hurricane is a different story that delivers its own lesson about human nature.
— Lyn Millner - Los Angeles Review of Books

[A] thoroughly engrossing book.
— Steve Donoghue - Christian Science Monitor

[A Furious Sky] is a wonderfully researched and vividly written testament to the tragedy, suffering, and science that have given rise to our still-limited understanding of these ferocious storms.

— Matt Murphy - WoodenBoat Magazine

Drawing on abundant sources. . . and with an academic background in environmental policy, Dolin, who has a doctorate in environmental policy, offers an authoritative and lively history of hurricanes . . . Besides chronicling the tense period leading up to landfall, the violent impact, the immediate responses, and the long-term recoveries, the author offers a fascinating history of weather forecasting. . . Dolin underscores the threat of global warming to worsen hurricanes and urges society to act quickly and boldly ‘to counter this threat in any way we can.’ A sweeping, absorbing history of nature’s power.
— Kirkus Reviews [starred review]

A fast-paced and informative history of American hurricanes from the 16th century through the 2017 season . . . Packed with intriguing miscellanea, this accessible chronicle serves as a worthy introduction to the subject. Readers will be awed by the power of these storms and the wherewithal of people to recover from them.
— Publishers Weekly

Drawing on abundant sources. . . and with an academic background in environmental policy, Dolin, who has a doctorate in environmental policy, offers an authoritative and lively history of hurricanes . . . Besides chronicling the tense period leading up to landfall, the violent impact, the immediate responses, and the long-term recoveries, the author offers a fascinating history of weather forecasting. . . Dolin underscores the threat of global warming to worsen hurricanes and urges society to act quickly and boldly ‘to counter this threat in any way we can.’ A sweeping, absorbing history of nature’s power.
— Kirkus Reviews [starred review]

Dolin (Leviathan) continues his series of popular histories. . . deftly weaving together tales of tragedy, heroism, and scientific progress from colonial times until the present. . . . Weather watchers, science buffs, and social historians will enjoy this history of the hurricane both as a chronology and for the individual tales of surviving nature’s fury.

— Wade Lee-Smith - Library Journal


Product Details
ISBN: 9781631499067
ISBN-10: 1631499068
Publisher: Liveright
Publication Date: June 1st, 2021
Pages: 432
Language: English