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On the 42nd anniversary of the Mount St. Helens disaster, a review and A+ documentaries

I like to read nonfiction, and I’ll confess, there is much of it that isn’t an easy read, even if I’m riveted by the topic. Steve Olson’s Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens, however, is an exception, and on the 42nd anniversary of that fateful 1980 day, I can’t recommend it highly enough.

ERUPTION by Steve Olson

My copy of ERUPTION is tied with a ribbon because I have articles all stuffed inside it. It sits next to an oil lamp made from Mount St. Helens ash and a photograph of the now-famous buried A-frame taken just after it was deluged up to its second floor in mudflows during the event. The curious home is now a tourist attraction.

Although I can’t exactly give a “spoiler-free” review (we all know what happened at Mount St. Helens), I will do my best.

What Olson really discusses here is the conglomeration of factors that led to the deaths of 57 people—who were, contrary to the way it was spun for the press, not in what was a dedicated danger zone (except for three, two of whom had permission and one who just refused to leave his lodge). Rendered in poetic language in several places, the narrative is Read the rest of this entry

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