Skip to main content
Displaying 1 of 1
Triangle : the fire that changed America
2003
Please select and request a specific volume by clicking one of the icons in the 'Find It' section below.
Find It
Map It
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

The tragic conflagration at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in March 1911 resulted in the deaths of 123 women (most of them young immigrants), caused widespread public outrage, and set in motion a wave of reform. Drehle's vivid retelling of this horrifying event begins with the strike that immediately preceded it and then examines the terrible fire, the unsuccessful prosecution of the factory owners, and the fight to prevent similar tragedies in the future. Drehle, a reporter for the Washington Post and author of such investigative books as Lowest of the Dead: Inside Death Row, utilizes the vast amount of documentation surrounding the tragedy and some newly discovered court transcripts to re-create the fire and its legislative aftermath, plus immigrant life and labor conditions at the time. The story of this disaster can never be told too often and has rarely been told this well. Recommended for academic and public libraries of all sizes, even those who already own Leon Stein's classic The Triangle Fire. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/03.]-Theresa McDevitt, Indiana Univ. of Pennsylvania Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

It was a profitable business in a modern fireproof building heralded as a model of efficiency. Yet the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York City became the deadliest workplace in American history when fire broke out on the premises on March 25, 1911. Within about 15 minutes the blaze killed 146 workers-most of them immigrant Jewish and Italian women in their teens and early 20s. Though most workers on the eighth and 10th floors escaped, those on the ninth floor were trapped behind a locked exit door. As the inferno spread, the trapped workers either burned to death inside the building or jumped to their deaths on the sidewalk below. Journalist Von Drehle (Lowest of the Dead: Inside Death Row and Deadlock: The Inside Story of America's Closest Election) recounts the disaster-the worst in New York City until September 11, 2001-in passionate detail. He explains the sociopolitical context in which the fire occurred and the subsequent successful push for industry reforms, but is at his best in his moment-by-moment account of the fire. He describes heaps of bodies on the sidewalk, rows of coffins at the makeshift morgue where relatives identified charred bodies by jewelry or other items, and the scandalous manslaughter trial at which the Triangle owners were acquitted of all charges stemming from the deaths. Von Drehle's engrossing account, which emphasizes the humanity of the victims and the theme of social justice, brings one of the pivotal and most shocking episodes of American labor history to life. Photos not seen by PW. Agent: Esther Newberg. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Summary
"Called ""a riveting history written with flair and precision"" by Bob Woodward, Triangle is the dramatic story of the fire that broke out in the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York City in 1911. Within minutes the flames spread to consume the building's upper three stories. People on the street watched in horror as desperate workers jumped to their deaths. The final toll was 146 people-123 of them women. It chronicles in harrowing detail the fire and gives an insightful look at how this tragedy transformed politics and gave rise to urban liberalism."
Librarian's View
Displaying 1 of 1