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September/October 2008: In This Issue

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Reviews & Resources

Out of the Blue: A History of Lightning: Science, Superstition, and Amazing Stories of Survival
author: John S. Friedman
publisher: Delacorte
details: 304 pp., $24.00 hardcover, 2008
ISBN-13: 978-0385341158
ISBN-10: 0385341156

Just what can be said about a book in which Benjamin Franklin, Aristotle, “human lightning rod” Roy Sullivan, Ishkur (the Babylonian god who hurled spears of lightning), and Harry Potter all play a role on the lightning stage? Perhaps more than anything, Out of the Blue: A History of Lightning: Science, Superstition and Amazing Stories of Survival by John S. Friedman takes readers on an interesting journey into history, science, pseudoscience, and real-life drama.

David Hoadley, who is probably the best candidate for the title “Father of Storm Chasing,” is just one of many fascinating characters in this book. In more than 50 years of pursuit of extreme weather, Hoadley has had many successes but has also made numerous unexpected turns. The same could be said of
Friedman’s narrative.

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