Author: Scott Carney & Jason Miklian
Genre: Nonfiction / Politics
Publication Date: March 29, 2022
Book Description: The deadliest storm in modern history ripped Pakistan in two and led the world to the brink of nuclear war when American and Soviet forces converged in the Bay of Bengal
In November 1970, a storm set a collision course with the most densely populated coastline on Earth. Over the course of just a few hours, the Great Bhola Cyclone would kill 500,000 people and begin a chain reaction of turmoil, genocide, and war. The Vortex is the dramatic story of how that storm sparked a country to revolution.
Bhola made landfall during a fragile time, when Pakistan was on the brink of a historic election. The fallout ignited a conflagration of political intrigue, corruption, violence, idealism, and bravery that played out in the lives of tens of millions of Bangladeshis. Authors Scott Carney and Jason Miklian take us deep into the story of the cyclone and its aftermath, told through the eyes of the men and women who lived through it, including the infamous president of Pakistan, General Yahya Khan, and his close friend Richard Nixon; American expats Jon and Candy Rhode; soccer star-turned-soldier Hafiz Uddin Ahmad; and a young Bengali revolutionary, Mohammed Hai.
Thrillingly paced and written with incredible detail, The Vortex is not just a story about the painful birth of a new nation but also a universal tale of resilience and liberation in the face of climate emergency that affects every single person on the planet.
Rating: 5 Stars
Review: For anyone that read’s my reviews, knows this is not my usual genre, however Fabled Bookstore in Waco, Texas picked this for their book club, so I gave it shot. I am so glad that I did, as this book was so riveting about in time in history I knew nothing about.
A cyclone that leads to a war just skims the surface of this book. 1970, Pakistan, divided by East and West. East being predominantly Bengali and Hindu and the West is predominantly Muslim. The President, is about to hold it’s first free democratic election.
Leading up to the election East Pakistan is hit with a massive cyclone and thousands and thousands of people die. A warning system was just installed and somehow failed give sufficient warning of this massive storm.
West Pakistan thinks they have the election locked until they lose by a large majority, triggering a civil war and genocide, and the outside players that are complicit in allowing this war to happen.
I was never about taught this is any class, but so glad this came across my reading list as this story is insane. I could not put this down, and at times I found myself going down a rabbit hole on the internet. This book does not disappoint, and at times it reads more like a thriller than a nonfiction book.
Thank you NetGalley and Ecco for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.