Great Disasters and Horrors in the World's History
"Mankind is constantly astonished by reports of mishaps and disasters of manifold character, when there is seldom room for astonishment. A large proportion of the calamities reported from day to day are directly due to the haste, greed, and heedlessness of man himself, and need no comment. But there is a large class of disasters, due solely to meteorological or geological conditions, which surpass all others in magnitude and appalling destruction. In such cases men insist on prating about “mysterious visitations,” as though these occurrences were subject to the dominion of no law. To an examination of such is this book devoted." From the preface.