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Young Men and Fire
Young Men and Fire
Author: Norman Maclean
On August 5, 1949, a crew of fifteen of the United States Forest Service's elite airborne firefighters, the Smokejumpers, stepped into the sky above a remote forest fire in the Montana wilderness. Two hours after their jump, all but three of these men were dead or mortally burned. Haunted by these deaths for forty years, Norman Maclean puts back...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780226500614
ISBN-10: 0226500616
Publication Date: 9/1/1992
Pages: 316
Rating:
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 12

3.9 stars, based on 12 ratings
Publisher: University Of Chicago Press
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Young Men and Fire on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
As a veteran firefighter, I can identify with the feelings of fear and loss brought forth in this book. It is a documentary of lives lost in the infamous Mann Gulch Fire. For the uninitiated, Maclean shows you the life of the firefighter, what they do from day to day, how they think when things get scary, and maybe what some last thoughts were when things went beyond what any human being can be expecte to control. Haunting.
reviewed Young Men and Fire on + 171 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Great Book! The book has been around a long time, but a true story never fades. On August 5, 1949, a crew of fifteen of the United States Forest Service elite airborne firefighters, The Smokejumpers, stepped into the sky above a remote forest fire in the Montana wilderness (Mann Gulch). In less then an hour after their jump, all but three of the men were dead or mortally burned. This story was written 40 years after the fact, because the fire still haunted the author, Norman Maclean. I love this book.
reviewed Young Men and Fire on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
The Mann Creek fire in a canyon in Montana. Most of us have never heard of it, but Norman Maclean, author of "A River Runs Through It", takes us step by step of how a small, innocuous forest fire can turn into a deadly blowup and kill almost the entire firefighting crew. Maclean is older and has a difficult time climbing up and down the hills that he would have run easily when he was a younger fire fighter. It's a true mystery, which he refuses to give up solving. He died before this book was finished, but the publishers did an excellent job of finishing what he started. This book shows us how the current firefighting rules and conditions of present day came about. He shows us the lives of dead men, the original "hotshots" who parachuted into fires, who were so young and thought they were invincible. Excellent reading.
I've read it twice and never tire of his beautiful prose and well written story.
reviewed Young Men and Fire on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Thorough exploration of the true story of several smoke jumpers who died fighting a forest fire in Montana. Includes some actual photographs.
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reviewed Young Men and Fire on + 8 more book reviews
I originally ordered this book for my husband, a forest firefighter (not smokejumper) in his youth. I was captivated by not only the tragic story of the 1949 Mann Gulch fire, and Maclean's efforts to learn what were the physical causes of its ferocity, but his narrative style that casts it as a Homeric epic. Once you get the flick that his unusual writing style is to bring this simple tragedy to a greater level, and recalling his background as woodsman and literature professor, it all makes sense.

I read this book almost annually. I'm currently listening to it on audio-book (CD) read by his son. I'm reminded again how the language really elevates this tale to something greater.

I'm haunted by the tale and the telling. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
reviewed Young Men and Fire on + 577 more book reviews
A true story of the Mann Gulch Fire.
On August 5, 1949, a crew of fifteen Smokejumpers, the United States Forest Services elite airborne firefighter's, stepped into the sky above a remote forest fire in the Montana wilderness. Less than two hours after their jump, all but three of these men were dead or fatally burned. Exactly what happened in Mann Gulch that day has been obscurred by years of grief and controversy. Now a master astoryteller finally gives the Mann Gulch fire its due as tragedy.


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