The story of The Johnstown Flood of 1889 was a well researched book that explained how the lack of money spent to avoid a disaster was the actual cause of the flood.
The dam above town was built primarily to develop a lake in order to apease the appetites of a few very wealthy men (Carnegie, Frick, Mellon) who wanted a getaway in the mountains.
Despite repeated warnings of possible disaster if and when the dam would break, the South Fork Fishing & Hunting Club refused to spend money for much needed repairs. The result was a horrible flood following an unusally heavy rainstorm that killed over 2,000 people in the valley below.
Up until the Flood happens i loved McCullough's writing on the history of Johstown and America in general in 1889, but after the flood hits town it becomes a bt dull, sadly as this should be the most interesting part, this continues with the clean-up information apart from some great historical facts, this was the first time the newly formed Red Cross had helped at a disaster in America.