Triangle: The Fire That Changed America [NOOK Book]

Overview


Triangle is a poignantly detailed account of the 1911 disaster that horrified the country and changed the course of twentieth-century politics and labor relations

On March 25, 1911, as workers were getting ready to leave for the day, a fire broke out in the Triangle shirtwaist factory in New York’s Greenwich Village. Within minutes it spread to consume the building’s upper three stories. Firemen who arrived at the scene were unable to rescue ...
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Triangle: The Fire That Changed America

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Overview


Triangle is a poignantly detailed account of the 1911 disaster that horrified the country and changed the course of twentieth-century politics and labor relations

On March 25, 1911, as workers were getting ready to leave for the day, a fire broke out in the Triangle shirtwaist factory in New York’s Greenwich Village. Within minutes it spread to consume the building’s upper three stories. Firemen who arrived at the scene were unable to rescue those trapped inside: their ladders simply weren’t tall enough. 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 was the worst workplace disaster in New York City history.

This harrowing yet compulsively readable book is both a chronicle of the Triangle shirtwaist fire and a vibrant portrait of an entire age. It follows the waves of Jewish and Italian immigration that inundated New York in the early years of the century, filling its slums and supplying its garment factories with cheap, mostly female labor. It portrays the Dickensian work conditions that led to a massive waist-worker’s strike in which an unlikely coalition of socialists, socialites, and suffragettes took on bosses, police, and magistrates. Von Drehle shows how popular revulsion at the Triangle catastrophe led to an unprecedented alliance between idealistic labor reformers and the supremely pragmatic politicians of the Tammany machine.

David Von Drehle orchestrates these events into a drama rich in suspense and filled with memorable characters: the tight-fisted “shirtwaist kings” Max Blanck and Isaac Harris; Charles F. Murphy, the shrewd kingmaker of Tammany Hall; blue-blooded activists like Anne Morgan, daughter of J. P. Morgan; and reformers Frances Perkins and Al Smith. Most powerfully, he puts a human face on the men and women who died on March 25. Triangle is an immensely moving account of the hardships of New York City life in the early part of the twentieth century, and how this event transformed politics and gave rise to urban liberalism.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802195258
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/16/2004
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 93,713
  • File size: 3 MB

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 28 )
Rating Distribution

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(9)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fascinating

    Covers not only the fire incident but the context of the political, labor rights and social scene in New York at the turn of the century. Recommended for readers who enjoy hisory told with an admixture of personal stories; or anyone interested in labor movements in the US.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 3, 2009

    triangle

    it was a well written book based on true events, the author's writing captures the audience and draws them in from beginning to the end of the book. It is a great book for school projects.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2008

    Fire that opened my eyes.

    This book was actually a really good book. It didn't just talk about the fire. It talked about everything from the strikes to the fire to the actual trial. I had no idea about this part of history. Just to see how different it was back then, and to see how much society has changed over the years.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2005

    Easy to read slice of social history

    This book doesn't just cover the headline grabbing Triangle fire, it goes into the before, during, and after the tragic event. Tammany Hall politics, the massive influx of immigrants into New York, the women's labor movement, and the progressive movement all coverge with this event. Afterwords, power was shifted forever and many careers were made and lost due to these events. This book draws together this slice of social history in New York city very well. I highly recommend it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2004

    A moving book

    I was moved by this work of history. I should think all decendents of immigrants to this country would want to read about how our families bravely came to this country and continued their struggle to survive and support their loved ones. Their strength, determination, pure sense of pride, duty, and family honor is much to be in awe of today. I was left with a feeling of pride. However, this pride was mixed with a deep feeling of being overly complaisant and a bit 'whiney' in this land of such great freedoms and opportunities. This book is wonderfully written. It is an excellent, historically documented account of this sad tragedy of our past. As with all disasters hopefully we can reread their accounts and learn lessons from them. These brave young women and men will never know how much their lives and ultimate deaths changed our lives today. Without knowing it they died for the good of all future working 'persons' in America. I highly recommend reading this book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2004

    Tradegy lightened by history

    The fire of the Triangle Waist Company of 1911 is unknown to many, lost in the past. Few are even aware of this fire, the worst in the history of New York. Throughout this book, this history is uncovered. It seemed at first that this book gave too much information that confused and only complicated the story but as the reader continues, these detailed facts are welcomed to add to this interesting yet horrifying event of lives lost. 'Exploration and invention were the two faces on the coin of progress, and progress was the spirit of the age.' This is learned through the stories of individuals who fought for progress of safety and status in their society. By getting to know several teenagers and young adults' stories, the reader becomes one with the workers fighting for what they believe in. Yet there seems to be a fault in this book. The end to this informing story was disappointing and weak. So much takes place within the climax of the story that the ending seems to be unfinished. Yes, the end follows what has happened to several of the more influential figures of the event but it seems to lack the closing of such a horrifying and complicated occurrence.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2003

    From Fire to Reform

    I normally avoid books that focus on horrific events in history because they mostly exploit and sensationalize the disaster for their authors' obvious motive: profit. David Von Drehle has no interest in exploiting this exceptionally terrible moment in New York's--and even America's--history. His compassion for the victims, his admiration for the reformers, and his loathing for those who caused and profited from the fire is obvious on every page, and in every word. Framed by the scorn and indifference toward laborers before the fire, and the realization of guilt that led to the rush to reform after it, the events of September 25, 1911 are heartbreakingly described by Mr. Von Drehle's vivid prose. But the description of the actual fire is only part of the book. He doesn't linger over the gruesome details to satisfy some cruel, voyeuristic hunger that some readers might have expected. There's just enough narrative to convey the chaos, terror and sadness of the event. To prevent the story from getting too morbid, the author diligently included the many individual acts of heroism by police, firemen, passersby and neighboring NYU students. The main purpose of the book, as the subtitle explains, is to demonstrate how the Triangle catastrophe profoundly affected Tammany Hall, New York City and State government, the federal governemt, the labor union movement, socialists, and Democrats. The dedication of the reformers and labor leaders like Al Smith, Frances Perkins, Robert Wagner, Sr., Clara Lemlich, and so on, is also highlighted. The owners of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company, Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, receive the vilification they deserve. And somewhere in the moral gray area are the two most enigmatic figures: Tammany leader Charles Murphy and the attorney for Blanck and Harris, Max Steuer. One last note: the book is a fascinating history of the history of the disaster. By that I mean that Mr. Von Drehle reports how others before him--the newspapers, Attorney Steuer, Clara Lemlich, and Leon Stein--recounted the events of that dark day, and how frighteningly close we came to losing these records (especially Steuer's). It represents the debt we owe to Mr. Von Drehle's dogged research, as well as the debt he owes his predecessors. Amazing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2014

    Tristin

    People handle things differently, maybe she has no suppprt at home and has to look for it on the internet and nook! I say angrily then walk away

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2014

    Jewel

    I calm down. "Look i get that. Im sorry." Leaves

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2014

    Tristin

    Lays down alone looking at the stars

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2014

    Exceptionally written.

    Exceptionally written.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2004

    Tragedy overridden by tedious NY history

    The fire event didn't start until page 116. Too much detail to Russion-Jewish lineage, labor union evolution and Tammany Hall politics. Real story was surronded by minutia. Boring!

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews

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