Krakatoa by Simon Winchester

Simon Winchester ( examines the legendary annihilation in 1883 of the volcano-island of Krakatoa (, which was followed by an immense tsunami that killed nearly forty thousand people. The effects of the immense waves were felt as far away as France. Barometers in Bogotá and Washington, D.C., went haywire. Bodies were washed up in Zanzibar. The sound of the island’s destruction was heard in Australia and India and on islands thousands of miles away. Most significant of all –  in view of today’s new political climate – the eruption helped to trigger in Java a wave of murderous anti-Western militancy among fundamentalist Muslims, one of the first outbreaks of Islamic-inspired killings anywhere. Krakatoa (2003) gives us an entirely new perspective on this fascinating and iconic event.

For background information on Vulcanology, listen to the BBC Radio4 ‘In Our Time’ episode on the subject first broadcast Thursday 3 Jul 2003. Available from the link  With Hilary Downes, Professor of Geochemistry at Birkbeck, University of London; Steve Self, Professor of Vulcanology at the Open University; Bill McGuire, Benfield Professor of Geophysical Hazards at University College London.

448 pages in Penguin paperback edition

First published 2003

ISBN 978-0141005171

Simon Winchester

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