The earthquake that struck the Messina Straits on December 28, 1908, was Europes most powerful catastrophe in modern times. It claimed the lives of approximately 200,000 people, including some American diplomats and tourists. This book provides important insight into many aspects of the calamity and its subsequent impact. It also lends us some perspective on more recent natural disasters, such as the Indonesian tsunami of 2004 Historian Salvatore LaGumina describes the remarkable responses of various nations and people that was an impressive display of cooperation and brotherhood among competing nations. This study constitutes the first comprehensive volume that specifically explores the extensive and admirable role played by the United States in aiding Italy in the wake of the distressful time. It is an important book that should be of interest to the general public and to people in many fields, including philanthropy, Italian American studies, military/naval history, Italian history, disaster studies, gilded age history, twentieth-century America.