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Ghosts of the Fireground: Echoes of the Great Peshtigo Fire and the Calling of a Wildland Firefighter
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Ghosts of the Fireground: Echoes of the Great Peshtigo Fire and the Calling of a Wildland Firefighter

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  40 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
A firefighter's remarkable first–hand account of the lessons of tragedy, courage and faith in the epic struggle between man and fire.

In April of 2000, on the brink of one of the most ferocious fire seasons ever recorded, Peter Leschak discovers the diary of Father Pernin, one of the few survivors of a wildfire that hit Peshtigo, Wisconsin, in 1871. Throughout this harrowi
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 22nd 2003 by HarperOne (first published July 1st 2002)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jeffrey Williams
Leschak writes three books in one volume. His firefighting experiences, his philosophies and the history of the Peshtigo Fire as told by Father Peter Pernin. While the concept has a lot of potential, Leschak failed to live up to it.

Peter Pernin has already written his story (which is published by the State Historical Society of Wisconsin) and didn't need to be re-told. The book is supposed to focus on wildland firefighting, but its heavy verse of religion and philosophy became a major distracti
Homo Sapien
Sep 11, 2013 Homo Sapien rated it liked it
A fair book. The writing was sometimes old-fashioned and the plot seemed to move slow or be nonexistant in places. The constant religious references were off-putting and alienating, I don't want to read about how someone found God, I want to read about his adventures as a fire fighter! One or two references are okay, but it was a little heavy on the religious front. Didn't leave much room for any other thoughts or ideas.

The history however was interesting, especially seeing how the Peshtigo fire
Bo Day
Jan 09, 2014 Bo Day rated it really liked it
I'd never heard of the Peshtigo fire before I read this book. Leschak's knowledge and understanding of fire gives hair raising context to the observations of Reverend Peter Pernin during that horrible fire. For that knowledge alone, it's worth the read.

The descriptions of Leschak's fire fighting experiences are less exciting, and in some places too technical for me. I found myself skimming through a lot of passages, but maybe that's just me. I also kept expecting Leschak to relate a really dange
Sep 23, 2015 Craig rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
This was a fascinating story of the Peshtigo fire. I read it while travelling...through that very area.
This fire happened at the same time as the "Great Chicago Fire"; the Peshtigo fire killed many more people; but was overshadowed by Chicago.
The story is incredibly well told. There are loads of details, from the diary of people who were there.
Interesting things like seeking shelter in a pool in the river...and being torn between freezing in the water, or burning outside of it.
Apr 05, 2014 Kerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I started reading this book with a healthy sense of skepticism, but was quickly proven wrong. Despite Leschak's penchant for romanticizing and nostalgia, he cuts to the quick of human nature in incredibly difficult, dangerous, and beautiful settings. Particularly fire. I enjoyed the historical aspect a lot, as an amateur history lover.
Aug 30, 2010 Brandon rated it liked it
A pretty good book about fighting wildfires. The weaving in of the story of Father Pernin and his struggles during the Peshtigo fire don't always seem entirely relevant, but are still interesting. It was funny that I happened to drive by Peshtigo while reading the book.
Jennifer Busick
Jun 03, 2008 Jennifer Busick rated it really liked it
Leschak is at his best when talking about fire -- the wildfires he fights, or the Peshtigo fire that forms his historic backdrop. When he veers into spirituality, the narrative suffers. Overall a good read.
Sep 07, 2008 Andy rated it really liked it
Great book that weaves current day experiences of a wildland firefighter with the deadliest wildfire in our history.
Jul 15, 2009 Kristopher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful historical retelling and personal narrative. Required reading for anyone who has walked the fire grounds.
Brian rated it it was ok
Feb 04, 2013
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May 07, 2016 Jacque Stengel rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend!
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