A vigorous, straightforward version of a frequently recorded catastrophe, the four disastrous days in 1906 in the City of a Hundred Hills. Unbelievable but true, tragedy piled on tragedy and situations which could not be worse- became so. There are close-ups of the men at this time of crisis: Caruso who fled the city never to return; the Committee of Fifty, under corrupt Mayor Schmitz who announced that ""life began on the day of the earthquake"". The quake lasted 47 seconds, to be followed by the damage and destruction of far greater duration and the incredible disorderly conduct which passed for justice. Kennedy's authoritative and absorbing account is based on contemporary newspaper, magazine and municipal reports which do not detract from the readability of the report.