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THE LAST VOLCANO: A Man, A Romance, and the Quest to Understand Nature’s Most Magnificent Fury
by John Dvorak

THE LAST VOLCANO: A Man, A Romance, and the Quest to Understand Nature’s Most Magnificent Fury by John Dvorak

Volcanoes are universal — and universally mesmerizing. While Hawaii gets a lot of the attention, volcanoes in Japan and the far East, the Carribbean, Iceland, Italy, Alaska (then part of Russia) are all featured in Dvorak’s wonderful book.

The American Scholar: "Jaggar's thrilling adventures to volcanic hot zones like Alaska and Hawaii, where he explored inside active volcanoes, makes one appreciate the fearless nature required for a life of volcanology. Riveting. It leaves readers wanting to know more about how volcanology how has advanced since Jaggar's day."

High praise for Dvorak’s Earthquake Storms:

“Dvorak has done earthquake science sterling service by writing what is unarguably the best, the most comprehensive and compellingly readable book about the great fault that will one day affect all our lives.” - Simon Winchester, Krakatoa

“Reads like a good sci-fi, with colorful characters making startling discoveries.”- The Honolulu Star

“Dvorak combines the lives and personalities of key geologists and seismologists, such as Lawson, Charles Richter, John Tuzo Wilson and Kerry Sieh, with the theoretical essentials and practical details of their scientific work, so that the former really do illuminate the latter.” - Geoscientist Magazine

“The real strength of Earthquake Storms is the clear and comprehensive treatment of geology as well as history, and offers a fascinating up-close look at the often overlooked people and stories behind science. Lastly, the book leaves readers in California with a bottom line as sobering as it is unassailable: We might not know exactly what storms lie ahead, but during all of our lifetimes, we have only ever known the lull.” - Earth Magazine

Ranging from Yellowstone in Wyoming to Mount Pelee in the Caribbean, Bogoslof and Pavlov in Alaska, Sakurajima in Japan, and finally, the mighty Kilauea and Mauna Loa in Hawaii ― THE LAST VOLCANO reveals the incredible journey of a single-minded man on a mission to understand the awesome power of volcanic eruptions.

Volcanoes have fascinated―and terrified―people for ages. They have destroyed cities and ended civilizations. John Dvorak, the acclaimed author of Earthquake Storms, looks into the early years of volcanology and its "father," Thomas Jaggar. Jaggar was the youngest of five scientists to investigate the explosion of Mount Pelee in Martinique, which leveled the entire city of St. Pierre and killed its entire population in two minutes. This explosion changed science forever, and Jaggar became obsessed with understanding the force of nature that could do this.

A colorful cast of scientists wind their way through THE LAST VOLCANO, including an escaped slave who became the leading volcanic guide in Hawaii. But the focus is on Jaggar, who was so fixated on volcanology that he moved to a small house overlooking the lava lake of Kilauea, much to the derision of the scientific community.

Falling in love a widowed schoolteacher who shared his passion, Jaggar devoted his life to studying volcanic activity and the mysteries beneath the earth's surface. From their precarious perch, this dynamic husband and wife duo would discover a way to predict volcanic eruptions and tsunamis, promote geothermal energy, and theorize new ways to study the ocean bottom.

John Dvorak, PhD, has studied volcanoes and earthquakes around the world for the United States Geological Survey. He has written cover stories for Scientific American, Astronomy and Physics Today. Dvorak lives in Hawaii, where he operates the telescope at Mauna Kea.