- Hardcover: 340 pages
- Publisher: Grove/Atlantic; 1st Edition edition (1 Aug. 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0871138743
- ISBN-13: 978-0871138743
- Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 3.8 x 24.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,603,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Triangle: The Fire That Changed America Hardcover – 1 Aug 2003
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Mr. von Drehle makes clear that the book I had expected is just not possible because of the great scarcity of source material. He does what he can in general terms: he tells where the majority of these women came from and the circumstances most of them escaped. He details the incredibly long hours they worked, the incredibly small wages they received, and the fact that many still managed to help support families in this country or The Old Country. He explains that, because of the horrific over-crowding of the tenements in which they lived, their lives away from work were spent on the streets. Here they found community with people of their own background, language, and age; intellectual stimulation in the many near-by free courses offered by NYU and various associations; and exposure to the social and political thought of the day. But these generalities are pretty much as far as he is able to go.
The real subject matter of this book is political change; in particular, the liberalization of New York. In this context, the Triangle Fire was no more than a tremendous spur to this change. His enduring characters are less the women of Triangle and more the reporters, business people, public officials, and primarily the politicians who, willingly or not, took part in this change. He chronicles the fall of Tammany Hall and the rise of the Democrats. Once I got past the realization that the book was other than what I had expected, I grew to appreciate it for what it is. It is a well-documented and compelling account of a time of change and the people (certainly including the victims of the Fire) who combined to bring it about.
I found it so frustrating that there weren't regulations in place before the fire to prevent the carnage from ever happening. Even after the fire, things seemed to move slowly. Everyone was horrified and wanted to make sure nothing like that ever happened again. But no one went to jail and change did not come fast. Why does it so often take a tragedy to inspire people to do the right thing? I suspect there will be other readers as disheartened as I was at how this played out for the factory owners. I also suspect that others will see parallels between the events of the early 1900s and today - no one is ever to blame!
I was pleasantly surprised by how well those people were brought to life and thoroughly enjoyed it.
The fire was so tragic and so preventable. It was well
Overall this was a great read that bounced a little bit more than I'd prefer on topics , and dragged out a little long on other topics , but I would over all recommend
It is interesting to learn how buildings were designed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and how buildings such as the one that housed Triangle were not designed for the safety of the occupants and how lax inspections precipitated the horrific fire that occurred. I also found out where the term "sweatshop" originated. Besides this documentation, the author also includes a look at the trial where the owners of the building were charged with knowingly locking exit doors and disallowing workers to escape the blaze. It looks like a no-brainer, but there were some twists in the testimony that made the outcome of the trial a surprise.
This book kept my interest and kept me turning pages until late at night. I would recommend this book to anyone who like history and in particular New York in the early 20th century.
This book is beautifully researched. It provides vivid detail to round out the characters so that the reader truly understands the time period that this story is taking place in. I was particularly interested in the insights provided about the local government, Tammany Hall. I know others didn't understand why there was so much about Tammany Hall in the book, but I found that understanding the local politics really helped me to understand the different forces at play in NYC during the time.