Your Garage Beauty LyingGame STEM nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Starting at $39.99 Wickedly Prime Handmade Wedding Rustic Decor Book House Cleaning gotpremiere gotpremiere gotpremiere  Introducing Echo Show All-New Fire HD 8, starting at $79.99 Kindle Oasis Nintendo Switch Water Sports STEMClubToys17_gno
Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than just about a fire, November 15, 2004
This review is from: Triangle: The Fire That Changed America (Paperback)
"Triangle" described the 1911 fire at the Triangle Waist Company where 146 workers perished, which was New York City's worst workplace disaster until the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Von Drehle is a gifted writer and makes history come alive in his retelling of this fire that killed with such swiftness: The blaze did its deadly work in less than 15 minutes from start to finish.

I bought this book because I have long been interested in stories of infamous fires (beginning as a 10-year old reading a now out of print book about the Coacoanut Grove fire). Thus, one of the aspects of the book I found personally somewhat disappointing is that it got off to a rather slow start, with the first 115 pages devoted to a history of such topics as immigration in New York City in the early 1900s, Tammany Hall, and the strike by shirtwaist workers. I understand that Von Drehle's motivation by providing this history was to place the Triangle Fire in the larger cultural context so as to render understandable how such neglect of safety issues was tolerated in those days. Providing this detail thus makes the book educational rather than sensationalistic, and I found myself learning a lot. However, the bottom line is that I bought the book because I wanted to learn about a famous fire and not particularly about the labor history of New York in the 1900s.

That having been said, it is a testament to Von Drehle's writing ability that he was able to make what could have been dry history riveting enough to keep me going through 115 pages until the part on the fire began. Through painstaking research of original sources, he was able to find enough detail about individual workers so that the reader sees their deaths for the personal tragedies they were and not just another workplace statistic. His prose at times was beautiful and poignant. Take, for example, this sentence (p. 138) describing the recollection of one of the survivors of the fire: "...he saw 'five or six girls falling from the windows.' They seemed to start out just a few feet below him, barely out of reach, but then they dropped into space and got smaller and smaller until the world, for them, came to a sudden end." This book serves an important function of making sure that the victims of the Triangle Fire are not forgotten. More important, the book provides a vivid reminder that the safeguards most Americans enjoy in their workplaces today to ensure that such a disaster never happens again came with a terrible price.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the guidelines and FAQs here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]


Review Details