Seven Fires

Seven Fires : The Urban Infernos That Reshaped America

3.65 (29 ratings by Goodreads)

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This work presents an inspiring history of seven devastating and pivotal US city fires, and of the men and women who fought them, learned the lessons of them, and rebuilt a new America from their ashes. This resonant and fascinating book by a renowned historian examines how seven fires shaped the larger course of American history. The Boston fire of 1760 set the stage for the American Revolution. The Pittsburgh fire of 1845 opened the way to larger scale industrial plants. Out of the ashes of the Chicago fire of 1871 came the modern sky-scraper. The Baltimore fire of 1904 showed how a city's downtown, utterly destroyed, could reinvent itself after a catastrophe. The Detroit fire of 1967 forced politicians to concede what people of Detroit already knew - that racism and racially-based deprivation were not changed by the civil rights movement. The Oakland Hills tragedy demolished a landscape of private privilege and imperilled the dream of leisure living in natural settings.
Apart from their domestic and global implications, the fires of 9/11 have prodded a complacent nation to admit to itself that twenty-first century emergency services, and the urban lifestyles they protected, have to be thoroughly rethought. Told through gripping narrative chronicles of the catastrophic events, memorable portraits of historic figures, and incisive, thought-provoking analysis, "Seven Fires" reveals a nation and a people at its best and worst and illustrates how disasters teach lessons that, if we grasp them, can help better society.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 480 pages
  • 157.5 x 236.2 x 43.2mm | 816.48g
  • PublicAffairs,U.S.
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, maps
  • 1586483552
  • 9781586483555
  • 2,560,638

About Peter Charles Hoffer

Peter Hoffer is professor of history at the University of Georgia. He is the author of Past Imperfect and many academic works.
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Rating details

29 ratings
3.65 out of 5 stars
5 24% (7)
4 34% (10)
3 28% (8)
2 10% (3)
1 3% (1)
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