This is a fascinating look at the conditions that people worked (and died) in in the early 1900's. This fire also was a catalyst for change in the laws that protect workers and fire code laws. It is written in a way that keeps your attention, and makes you relive the horror of a tragedy that could have been avoided.
The writing was certainly engaging in parts, but on the whole, I thought the book contained too much "back story" information about the rise of unions, socialism, and urban liberalism in early 20th century New York.
The courtroom chapter is particularly powerful and depicts some pretty nasty motives on the part of the defense lawyer. The parts about the fire, itself, were a little difficult to read - they're very, very graphic. Not your best non-fiction read, but a worthy tribute to those who perished in this horrible tragedy.
bookaddict reviewed Triangle : The Fire That Changed America on
Helpful Score: 3
Fascinating account of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire: how it happened, its implications for labour practises afterward. A compelling argument for the necessity of unions, and against unregulated corporate activity.
The history of NYC is so great and so many people in NYC have no clue about it. This books goes into depth on the triangle factory fire that happened in a building near washington square park. The author was featured on the History Channel!
This is a very readable history of the Triangle Fire in 1911, and the labor and industrial issues of the era which contributed to the tragedy. Though it was written in 2003, the author was the first to compile a complete list of the 146 victims of the fire. He did a great deal of research before writing, and it shows -- this is one of two definitive works on the fire (the other by Leon Stein in 1962). Despite the factual recounting, the writing is interesting in its own right -- it would have made for a shocking blockbuster movie if not for the fact that it isn't fiction. There are a number of echoes of 9/11 in this retelling, including victims jumping from upper story windows in a bid to escape the disaster. Very highly recommended.
David Von Drehle transports us to a beautiful spring day in March 1911 when 146 workers-most of them young immigrant women-lost their lives. Employee had jusst begun preparing to leave the Triangle shirtwaist factory in New York's Greenwich Village when a fire broke out and within minutes consumed the building's upper three stories. It was the worst workplace disaster in New York City history until 9/11. Behind the fire lay the extraordinary history of sweatshop labor and the fledgeling beginnings of union organizing.