Special Guest: Simon Winchester


Saturday, November 12, 2005

Kurt Andersen talks with journalist, historian, and geologist Simon Winchester about disasters — why they happen and what happens afterward. They’ll look at the aftermath of the earthquake and fire that devastated San Francisco 99 years ago. Winchester explains why he thinks New Orleans should not be rebuilt at all.

Simon Winchester was an oil geologist before becoming one of Britain’s leading journalists (he covered Watergate, Jonestown, and the Falklands War) and then a historian. His new book is A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906. He is also the author of The Professor and the Madman, about the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary, and The Fracture Zone, which recounts his journey from Austria to Turkey during the 1999 Kosovo Crisis. Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded is about the Javanese volcano eruption of 1883.


Simon Winchester

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