Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded -- August 27, 1883 It triggered deadly 135-foot waves, months of spectacular sunsets seen around the world, and an outbreak of Islamic militancy now frighteningly familiar. To surviving witnesses,… Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded -- August 27, 1883 It triggered deadly 135-foot waves, months of spectacular sunsets seen around the world, and an outbreak of Islamic militancy now frighteningly familiar. To surviving witnesses,… 2003-04-01 History Nonfiction
Review

KRAKATOA -- THE DAY THE WORLD EXPLODED: AUGUST 27, 1883 (2003)

EW's GRADE
A

Details Release Date: Apr 01, 2003; Writer: Simon Winchester; Genres: History, Nonfiction

It triggered deadly 135-foot waves, months of spectacular sunsets seen around the world, and an outbreak of Islamic militancy now frighteningly familiar. To surviving witnesses, it was the Day of Judgment: a series of volcanic eruptions that obliterated an island in the Indian Ocean and claimed nearly 40,000 lives. The cataclysm was a curious mix of the biblical and the modern -- it became the first news event with a truly global reach, thanks to thousands of miles of newly laid transoceanic cable. Winchester (The Professor and the Madman) has likewise crafted something old-fashioned and new: a collection of primers (explaining everything from island ecology to plate tectonics) that illuminate a real-life story bigger than any Hollywood blockbuster.

Originally posted Apr 04, 2003 Published in issue #703 Apr 04, 2003 Order article reprints