On September 11, 2001, the courage and sacrifice of the New York City Fire Department inspired the nation, giving new meaning to the word "hero." But the heroism of the firefighters was not unique to September 11--it has been part of the FDNY's tradition from the very beginning. Journalist Terry Golway, whose father, father-in-law, godfather, and uncles were all New York firefighters, tells as no one else could the story of the men and women, tragedies and triumphs of the FDNY throughout its history. From the original eighteenth-century volunteer force to the New York Firefighter unit in the Union Army, from the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire to the arson epidemic of the 1970s, to contemporary issues of diversity and efficiency, Golway's history holds up a mirror for firefighters throughout the U.S.In this first comprehensive chronicle of the FDNY in over sixty years, Golway weaves together stories of heroic firefighters and extraordinary fires to create a moving and original history of the city and the vocation as seen through the eyes of "New York's Bravest." From America's most ambitious public-works project of the 1700s--the building of aqueducts from upstate to help control fires--to firefighter-turned-politician Boss Tweed's backroom politics, fire and firefighters have always been an integral part of the history of the city. Lively, gut-wrenching, and ultimately inspiring, So Others Might Live offers a new view of the building of American cities and the people who made them great.As a tribute to the firefighters of New York, Basic Books will donate a portion of its proceeds from the sale of So Others Might Live to the New York Firefighters 911 Disaster Relief Fund.
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Terry Golway, columnist and City Editor of The New York Observer , is a frequent contributor to the Irish Echo, American Heritage , the Boston Globe , and the New York Times . He is the co-author of The Irish in America , and the author of For the Cause of Liberty: A Thousand Years of Ireland's Heroes , and Irish Rebel: John Devoy and America's Fight for Ireland's Freedom . He lives in Maplewood, New Jersey.From Publishers Weekly:
Writing with humor and passion and an understanding of the firefighter's mindset that comes from deep personal experience (his father, father-in-law, godfather and uncles were all firemen), New York Observer editor-columnist Golway (The Irish in America, etc.) takes readers inside the New York City Fire Department. As Golway's account follows the FDNY going back to its origins in New Amsterdam, points of familiarity emerge from the fine details: the need, even in 1731, to raise money for state-of-the-art equipment; the "respect and awe" felt by little boys for firefighters; the passion of firefighters for their work; the feverish search to recover the bodies of fallen brothers. Golway also provides vivid portraits of the city's worst conflagrations: the "ocean of fire" that destroyed 674 buildings in lower Manhattan in 1835, the tragic 1904 excursion boat fire that left 1,000 dead, the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and the 850 alarms reported on April 20, 1963, "the busiest day in FDNY history." Closing chapters are devoted to the 1993 and 2001 World Trade Center attacks. Centuries of heroism and bravery are documented here, along with profiles of firefighters famed within the organization, and many readers will see this as a compelling volume to shelve alongside Richard Picciotto's Last Man Down, David Halberstam's Firehouse and former Fire Commissioner Thomas von Essen's forthcoming autobiography, Strong of Heart. 70 b&w photos.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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