“The cowards have left and the brave remain,” wrote a New York Times reporter a few days after the earthquake and fire had devastated San Francisco. Other newspapers across the country wrote of the “heroism” and “stoicism” of the survivors. Was it stoicism or, as one survivor wrote, that their sensibilities had been numbed by the disaster? Malcolm E. Barker draws on accounts written by survivors to show the psychological effects these tragic events had on individuals.
Malcolm E. Barker, author and publisher, was born in London and worked as a newspaper reporter and later as assistant press officer for Thomas Cook, the travel agency, before immigrating to San Francisco. His fascination with the city’s colorful history lead him to research, write and publish the San Francisco Memoirs trilogythree volumes comprising first-hand accounts of people who lived in or visited San Francisco during the period 1835-1906. To mark the centennial he recently published a hardcover edition of the final volume, Three Fearful Days: San Francisco Memoirs of the 1906 earthquake and fire. He became an American citizen in 1983.