Tom Fleming

What Lies Beneath

A Crack in the Edge of the World: The Great American Earthquake of 1906

By

Viking 412pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

The allure of California – its climate, its mineral wealth – has always been offset by its precarious position on the geological map. The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 saw a city that had gotten rich quick thanks to the gold rush find its fertile ground being torn from under it; but, as Simon Winchester’s thorough account of the disaster makes clear, it was geological innocence rather than any innate Californian hubris – or general ineptitude – that allowed the earthquake to have such an effect.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter