Read Great Chicago Fires: Historic Blazes That Shaped a City by David Cowan Online

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"the hand of God and the lack of fire escapes" In 1916, poet Carl Sandburg wrote about a young girl who jumps to her death in a Chicago factory fire, attributing her tragic end to "the hand of God and the lack of fire escapes." Sadly, the lesson of Anna Imroth's untimely demise would go unheeded.Instead, thousands of times in Chicago and elsewhere, the circumstances of her"the hand of God and the lack of fire escapes" In 1916, poet Carl Sandburg wrote about a young girl who jumps to her death in a Chicago factory fire, attributing her tragic end to "the hand of God and the lack of fire escapes." Sadly, the lesson of Anna Imroth's untimely demise would go unheeded.Instead, thousands of times in Chicago and elsewhere, the circumstances of her loss would be repeated. Perhaps no other city in America identifies itself with fire quite like Chicago does; certainly no other city cites a great conflagration as the cornerstone of its will and identity. Yet the Great Chicago Fire was not the only infamous blaze the city would see. Rather, as Chicago changed from agrarian outpost to industrial giant, it would be visited time and again by some of the worst infernos in American history-fires that sparked not only banner headlines but, more importantly, critical upgrades in fire safety laws across the globe. In Great Chicago Fires, acclaimed author and veteran firefighter David Cowan tells the story of the other "great" Chicago fires, noting the causes, consequences, and historical context of each-from the burning of Fort Dearborn in 1812 to the Iroquois Theater disaster to the Our Lady of the Angels school fire. He also explores lesser-known fires such as fatal tenement and flophouse blazes that often underscore how poverty and poor living conditions set the stage for these urban catastrophes. Along the way, Cowan follows the colorful evolution of Chicago's firefighting forces from early 19th-century citizen bucket brigades to the armada of the modern day fire department, lacing his narrative with the dangers of his profession, including a vivid account of the worst day in American fire service history when twenty-one firefighters died battling a fire at Chicago's Union Stockyards. In transporting readers beyond the fireline and into the ruins, Cowan brings readers up close to the heroism, awe, and devastation generated by the fires that shaped Chicago. This book contains over 80 stunning historic photos....

Title : Great Chicago Fires: Historic Blazes That Shaped a City
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781893121072
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 169 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Great Chicago Fires: Historic Blazes That Shaped a City Reviews

  • Jordan Larsen
    2019-01-12 13:09

    An engaging, visceral and poignant account of the tragic and heroic history of one of America's premiere fire departments: The Chicago Fire Department. Established in 1858, the CFD has experienced many moments of tragedy and triumph all in the line of duty. With a force of more than 5,000 men and women, answering more than 500,000 emergency calls every year, Chicago's Bravest make a formidable team. Chicago Firefighter and Journalist David Cowan paints an eloquent portrait of the CFD's gallant history recounting memorable events such as: The Great Chicago Fire in 1871, numerous riots in the 1970's and the darkest day in the Chicago Fire Department's history when 21 firefighters along with 3 civilians perished in the 1910 Stockyards Inferno. This book stands as a great homage to the Windy City's Bravest! If you're a fan of the NBC series "Chicago Fire" then this book makes for a great read to get some in-depth historical perspective on one of America's top three Tier-1 Fire Departments.

  • Amy
    2018-12-26 18:13

    This was very interesting -- I just wish it were more updated (published in 2001). I can't remember why I decided I wanted to read this, but the number of fires in Chicago that took a large amount of lives was phenomenal. You would think they would have learned from their mistakes.

  • Janet
    2019-01-20 17:26

    This is an amazing book that does a wonderful job of chronicling Chicago’s fiery past. I read story after story of brave, valiant firemen who risked their lives and (some) paid the ultimate price. And that’s when I realized something. I am not a woman who shrieks about feminism on a daily basis, but I didn’t see a single female firefighter mentioned in this entire book. Maybe I missed her. Or this could be in part because women, I’m assuming, simply weren’t not firefighters in the early days. I’m not sure when that changed, but this book covers fires well into the 20th century. Perhaps the sources Cowan used didn’t include any such notes, but one would think that somewhere in there a woman would have done something worth note.

  • Jacqueline
    2018-12-23 16:18

    This book was great and actually inspired me to extend my own historical research just for fun. I never realized Chicago had so many fires that led to important changes for the town itself. I would recommend this book to any history buff and anyone who enjoys reading about the historical impact of disasters both natural and man made.