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Triangle: The Fire That Changed America

1620 words - 6 pages

“The ‘Triangle’ company, “With blood this name will be written in the history of the American workers’ movement, and with feeling will this history recall the names of the strikers of this shop- of the crusaders” (Von Drehle 86). Even before it happen, the Forward predicted the terrible disaster of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory that occurred one year, one month, and seventeen days later (86). Triangle: The Fire that Changed America, by David Von Drehle tells the story of the horrible fire.
David Von Drehle is a journalist for The Washington Post. Von Drehle put a tremendous amount of work into writing Triangle. All of his work paid off because Von Drehle received many awards for Triangle. Some of the awards include Winner of the 2004 Christopher Award, Amazon Top 50 Book of the Year, New York Society Library Book of the Year, New York Public Library Book of the Year, and Washington Post Book World Rave of the Year (Inside Cover). Some of his previous works include Among the Lowest of the Dead: Inside Death Row and Deadlock: The Inside Story of America’s Closest Election (Back Cover). Von Drehle was qualified to write this book because of his occupation, experience, and interest in the event. His occupation is as a journalist and as a journalist he tried to report the story of the fire. Experience wise, Von Drehle used many resources and even got to visit the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors, and the roof, of where the fire occurred, which is now the Brown Building of NYU (Acknowledgements). Von Drehle also spent time doing research in the Library of Congress (Acknowledgements). A major source that he used was the transcribed testimony from the trial of People of the State of New York v. Isaac Harris and Max Blanck. He got help from the New York City Municipal Achieves (NYCLA), in finding Max D. Steuer’s, the lawyer who defended Harris and Blanck in the Triangle fire trial, copy of the testimony from the trial (Von Drehle 318). From reading Triangle you can see how much Von Drehle was interested in the story of the Triangle fire.
Triangle tells of the disastrous event of the Triangle shirtwaist factory. It was the fire in New York that took the lives of 146 workers. The Triangle fire occurred March 25, 1911, and for ninety years it was the deadliest workplace disaster in New York history (Von Drehle 3). Von Drehle tells a very descriptive story of the Triangle fire that covers a lot more than just the fire. He begins by telling of the workers and the worker strikes that were going on at the time. Von Drehle then tells the story of the awful day of the fire. Lastly, he describes the trial that followed, and then how the main people of the book end up. While telling the story of the fire, Von Drehle also talked about the politics going on, this dealt with Tammy Hall, the political machinery of NYC and the most powerful machine in America (Von Drehle 12).
The Triangle story is told chronologically. It starts with the workers, and background...

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