• Triangle

  • The Fire That Changed America
  • By: David Von Drehle
  • Narrated by: Barrett Whitener
  • Length: 10 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 06-21-11
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Random House Audio
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.2 (125 ratings)

Regular price: $31.50

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Publisher's Summary

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 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-workers 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; reformers Frances W. Perkins and Al Smith. Most powerfully, he puts a human face on the men and women who died on March 25th. Triangle is a vibrant and immensely moving account of the hardships of New York City life in the early part of the 20th century, and how this event transformed politics and gave rise to urban liberalism.
©2004 David von Drehle (P)2011 Random House
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jessica Jewett on 05-11-15


Amazing. Though it's a nonfiction book, it paints a picture with a narrative that feels like fiction to put the reader right there among the strikers and the fire victims. This story should be required for everyone studying women's history.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By JAS on 04-21-18

Interesting but Loong

The "Triangle" book furnishes every possible detail regarding the sad fire, the victims, and. The aftermath. As a historic reference work it is great, but as an audio book it's so filled with facts, figures, columns of names that it is difficult to keep track. An audio version would do well to be about half the length. Even better would be to purchase the book version so that the reader can easily flip back and forth to verify names and timeline. On the plus side, the narration is excellent; crisp, clear and the perfect tempo.

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