Triangle

Triangle

The Fire That Changed America

eBook - 2004
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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.
Publisher: [United States] : Grove/Atlantic, Inc. : Made available through hoopla, 2004
ISBN: 9780802195258
0802195253
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: hoopla digital

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Shihtzulover
Jun 05, 2014

Set against the background of the struggles of Italian and Jewish immigrants, corrupt city politics, and the rise of the fashion industry, we learn of the fire that broke out in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York's Greenwich Village on March 25, 1911. A gripping page-turning tale relating the horror of the disaster with little graphic detail.

l
Logovore
Apr 11, 2012

An engrossing look at the dangers of being a worker in the early part of the last century. It serves as a warning as to what happens when the proper balance between profits and workers' rights is ignored: something that seems to be slipping today.

k
KarenW
Apr 17, 2004

David Von Drehle has written a moving account of a fire that started a small revolution in the labor and political arenas in the early part of the last century. Fire safety for workers was a rallying cry even as the flames were building at the Triangle Waist Company on March 25, 1911. These flames helped to create fire doors that opened out onto safe, wide stairwells, and made laws governing manufacturers from locking workers in. Today we seem to have forgotten all about this tragedy that took 140+ lives. In fact, there is no record of the names of the people that died in the fire or from injuries afterwards! But it is the human stories that capture the reader''s attention. For instance, a song called Ev''ry Little Movement reverberates through this book. Taken from a hit Broadway show, then picked up by the general public, it became very popular in the Triangle Waist Company. After work you could hear the strains of it sung by several workers as they got ready to go home. March 25, 1911 was no different, until the fire made it a terrible reminder to the survivors of the worst factory fire of the 20th century.

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