Triangle: The Fire that Started America. Book Review Example.

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Carnegie Mellon University
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Book review
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Triangle: The Fire that Started America is the title of the book written by David Von Drehle. The book was published by Grove Press Publishers; Reprint edition on August 16 the year 2004. David Von Drehle the author of the book Triangle: The Fire that Started America was born in Denver and also raised in Aurora, Colorado. He graduated from the University of Denver with a B.A in the year 1983. At the university, David was a Boettcher Foundation Scholar as well as the editor of the Denver Clarion which was the student newspaper. He also graduated from the Oxford University in the year 1985 with masters in Literature as a Marshall Scholar. David started his journalism career at a tender age of seventeen years with the Denver Post writing mostly on sports. The other published works of Von Drehle include, Among the lowest of the dead (1995), Dreadlock: The inside story of Americas Closest Election (2001), Triangle: The Fire That Changed America (2003) and The Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and the Americas Most Perilous Year (2012).

Von Drehle uses narrative style as a form of writing styles in the book Triangle: The Fire that Started America is a narration based on the fire that engulfed the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in the New Yorks Greenwich Village in the year 1911. Many of those who perished in the fire were young immigrant women. The building was overcrowded with employees and very inflammable materials. Only one exit door was open hence the firefighting machines could only reach the sixth floor. The primary goal of the book is that Von Drehle through scholarly research wanted to report on the fire, the trial following it and the current social and political world with his journalistic immediacy (Pyne et al. p38). In his view, the fire has been overlooked as a significant event in the history of America. Von Drehle uses various scholarly sources which include historical books and newspaper reports of the Triangle Company fire of 1911

The intended audience of this book was the American public, rich and powerful as well as the leaders especially New Yorkers. The historical significance of this book is to show how we're mistreated before, during and after the Triangle factory fire (Von Drehle p 4). Von Drehle suggests that the American history should recognize how the force of women changed America. The continued beating represents the various pre-fire clashes that existed between the owners and the workers and the very unjust conditions that allowed this big fire to take place. Attacks on individuals, arrest, and imprisonment of women strikers are what strengthened workers position and caught the attention of the rich and powerful (Stein p134).


The book Triangle: The Fire that Started America written by David Von Drehle is an excellent book. Von Drehle uses a narrative style with his journalistic experience to write a vivid account of the Triangle Factory fire that changed America. He can portray the message on the pre fire and post fire injustices that were made to women. Von Drehle shows how important an event the fire was as the criminal trials for the owners of the factory (Sanchez p64). He also believes this fire marked an important event in the history of America and these events are what led to the strikes that led to conducive working conditions as well as gaining the support of the rich and the powerful in the society (Von Drehle p 45)



Pyne, Stephen J. Fire in America: a cultural history of wildland and rural fire. University of Washington Press, 2017.

Sanchez, Tony R. "The Triangle Fire: A simulation-based lesson." The Social Studies 97.2 (2006): 62-68.

Stein, Leon. The triangle fire. Cornell University Press, 2010.

Von Drehle, David. Triangle: The fire that changed America. Grove Press, 2004.


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