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Book review: Triangle: The fire that changed America
The book, “Triangle: The Fire that Changed America” was written by David Von Drehle. The book’s setting is in New York principally in the Greenwich Village and tenements of the Lower East Side. The book talks more concerning the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City in March, 1911. The incidence claims lives of around 146 women and men, and the majority of them were young women who died during the half hour when the fire blazed. The book covers the very largest industrial tragedy that has ever occurred in New York City.
The author of this book, David Von Drehle, focuses on writing about novelist as compared to the historian since he seems to attract his audience towards the diverse scenes as covered in the book. He starts by a part of sidewalk that is normally known as “Misery Lane”. In his writing, he is after the activities performed by a young man and an aunt who are gazing at coffins as they focus on determining if one of the young women exemplified there are between the three relatives he had lost. He walks with his aunt Rosa who acclaims that a young woman is among the girls, although they them determine otherwise. He continues with the story by offering his personal accounts more closely as he could, therefore making the book to be like a story and not more of an event.
The issue of the author beginning with Misery Lane, the place where the bodies were retained and then going direct to the years before the fire and them talking more regarding the aftermath of the particular blaze, this means that the author is effective in enabling the audience understand the entire event and the activities before as well as after the fire outbreak.
The author has detailed and spellbinding reconstruction of the catastrophe, which is complemented through a similar gripping duty of the factory owner’s succeeding manslaughter hearing. He is also able to note the presence of the moment of safety mechanisms and processes that were likely to save the workers, such as fire drills, automatic sprinklers, fire doors, and firewalls. Indeed, the story flow provides some speculation regarding the responsibility of the fire-insurance sector in such an incidence.
The book’s weakness include; the assumptions surrounding the title, ”Triangle: The Fire That Changed America” which means that the tragedy led to sustainable transformation in the American workplace. It is clear that before that fire, industries resisted to engage in systemic reforms but after the fire leaders such as Alfred Smith and Robert started championing transformation. Therefore, it is factual that a Tammany-led coalition defeated its rivals over the passage of flows focusing on workplace safety and health rules as well as the promotion of social insurance and minimum wages.
Drehle’s story is a reminder of the truth concerning the life in a jungle and the significance of the Triangle fire in enhancing proper working in the industries. However, talking about the past occasions will not hinder the return of the same condition, but just an organized workforce can achieve this transformation. Indeed, it is a good book to read about the American history of change.
Von Drehle, David. Triangle: The fire that changed America. Grove Press, 2004.