Since its publication in a cloth edition in 1976, Penick s book has met with enormous regional appeal as well as critical acclaim. For the new paper edition, the author has written a new introduction. New material in the final chapter reports on the scientific inquiries into the New Madrid quakes since 1976.Critical comments on the cloth edition: James Penick has put together a well-written account of the quakes and their effects upon people, animals, waterways, and land. Based on the scattered accounts of the times it offers a good insight into the reactions of persons suddenly confronted with the perils of the unknown. The vivid description of the devastation wrought upon the face of the land gives a picture of dramatic change brought about by the upheaval of natural forces. In short, reading Penick s work one is readily caught up in the total violence of the event. "American Historical Review " Penick provides information relevant to present studies of earthquakes in this area. "Earthquake Information Bulletin""