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Flesh & Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  970 ratings  ·  219 reviews
On March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City burst into flames. The factory was crowded. The doors were locked to ensure workers stay inside. One hundred forty-six people—mostly women—perished; it was one of the most lethal workplace fires in American history until September 11, 2001.

But the story of the fire is not the story of one accidental moment
...more
Hardcover, 182 pages
Published February 8th 2011 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Paige
On March 25, 1911 a New York City clothing factory caught fire and 146 people, mostly women, died. Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy by Albert Martin is full of information, not just about the Triangle Fire, but of its victims, unions and workplace reforms, immigration, politics, and other topics that help the reader truly understand the tragedy.

I read this book on my computer through the Chicago Public Library ebook program. I recommend to anyone listening to this book
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Wendy
When I first heard about this book, I wondered how bad it was that I was skeptical about this story being written by a man. It's sexist of me, but I feel like... this one is ours, you know?

But I still think I approached it with a mostly open mind. How much is self-fulfilling prophecy? This is probably the driest version of the story I've ever read, and it felt like the author almost took pains at every step to remind the reader that a few of the victims were men. Pages and pages were spent on po
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Mary Louise Sanchez
The events that led up to the tragic Triangle Fire and the aftermath is the story of poor immigrants, mostly southern Italians and Russian Jews who settled in crowded tenements in New York City and worked in the sweatshops and eventually the garment factories run by greedy bosses who had no regard for their workers. Sadly, history keeps repeating itself with the sweatshops around the world and the recent fire in the Bangladesh garment factory.

I appreciated the research that went into this book-
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Margo Tanenbaum
Friday, March 25 is the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Fire, one of the worst industrial disasters in American history. Quite a few books for young people have been published on the topic, both historical fiction and non-fiction. The most recent, just released this spring by award-winning non-fiction writer Albert Marrin, brings the tragic events of that spring afternoon to life by setting the fire in a sweeping historical narrative that encompasses not only the events that led up to the fire ...more
Sunday
1,100 garment factory workers died in Bangladesh recently when the company building collapsed. These workers made about $38 a month each to sew clothes for the Western world. They didn't want to come to work that tragic day because they'd seen the growing crack in the floor. But the contractor told them if they didn't come to work, they might lose their jobs.

I'd been meaning to read Flesh & Blood So Cheap by Albert Marrin since it was honored as a National Book Award Finalist a few years ag
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Laura
Dec 15, 2012 Laura added it
While the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire is in the subtitle, I found this much more far-reaching. It gave good explanations of the labor movement, formation of unions, workers' strikes, and what happened after the fire. My library has this in young adult, but I thought it could work for older kids (younger than teens) - it gives very clear explanations of what a strike is, what a sweatshop is, etc., and doesn't exactly gloss over some of the tougher parts, but presents them in a hopeful way. L ...more
Marjorie Ingall
Utterly unboring look at America's worst workplace disaster before 9/11. Well-written, dramatic, suspenseful, sad, great use of photos and quotations...this book makes history immediate and exciting. I'd recommend it not only to kids with even the slightest interest in immigration or voting rights, but also to adults who don't know much about the fire and its aftermath. Marrin ties together immigration history, the personal histories of some of the victims, portraits of strikers, politicians and ...more
Dave
I really liked this book. It is thoroughly researched and provides great depth on this subject. It starts out with the fire then takes the reader back prior to the fire; to the immigration to America of the Russian Jews and Italians. It explained the hardships that both nationalities faced and why/how they immigrated to the US. These immigrants make up 90% of the deaths in the Triangle fire, which is why the author focuses on them. Marrin also explains how these immigrants get established in the ...more
Natalie
Can you imagine working a 14 hour day 6 days a week, well that's what happened in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. The Triangle Fire happened in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, a factory that made a kind of dress. It happened on March 25, 1911 at 4:40pm, about 5 minutes before the workers were supposed to leave work. 146 people died and 71 were injuried. Flesh & Blood So Cheap by Albert Marrin captures the story of this fire. This book goes back to talk about the people that worked in the f ...more
Patience
I grew up with a pretty sheltered life. Alaska, by nature of it's geographical position and it's extremely independent demographic nature did not put a lot of "lower 48 history" into it's educational system. Hence, the first time that I ever heard about the Triangle Fire was a few days ago. And...Iet me say, reading this book was a profound emotional shock. Second only to 9/11, the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire was horrific in death and cause. I appreciated the foundation the author laid in this book ...more
Lia
The book Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy was about the historical event of the Triangle Fire. It showed the outcomes of how each fire and how people wanted to try and change the outcome of what had happened so it would never happen again. For example, they had a strike because they did not feel that they had enough safety laws and they didn't get enough money. People would work for long hours. If they got hurt, they would have to cover it up and go back to work. Other ...more
Jrowe
Marrin, A. Flesh & Blood So Cheap- The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy. (2011) New York: Alfred A. Knopf


Non-Fiction
Informational Book

2011 National Book Award Finalist,
Young People's Literature

From the tragedy of the March 25, 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York came reforms in labor laws and federally mandated safety provisions that would serve to protect a labor force that had previously had no voice. This text outlines the progress made in industry and on behalf of the labor cl
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Camille Rivera
Flesh and Blood So Cheap tells the story of the Triangle Fire, a horrible fire that occurred in New York City that killed all the workers because the doors were locked. It traces back through history from the reasons why immigrants came to the United States to how and why unions formed as a result of the triangle fire. This book quotes several known individuals from U. S. history as well as those not as well known.

Personally, this is not my type of book. It was very informative and though it was
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Tim
Marrin's history provides a sobering and well-written overview of the background, details, and response to the terrible Triangle Shirtwaist Fire that killed 146, mostly immigrant women, workers on March 25, 1911. Some of the intro on immigrant and labor background seemed to flatten history a bit and more could have said more about immigrant women, but overall this is a good kid's history book bringing this historical catastrophe and its consequences for government actions (and lack of consequenc ...more
Marianne
So far, very good.

I always learn something new while reading Children's nonfiction. Last night I learned the origins of "beyond the pale."
Trevor Pletcher
This book was very informational, but also interesting. It kept making me want to read more and eventually finish the book. Albert Marrin did a really good job of describing many different accounts of people who lived and worked in the era it was set in. Also when it came to the part of the Triangle Fire, he was very descriptive in his views, as well as other peoples'. Some of his sayings were quite meaningful to me, and I think they would be to other people as well. I would suggest this book to ...more
Jennifer
This book is more about immigration into New York around the turn of the century and the beginnings of labor unions. You do not get information about the Triangle Fire until around page 100. This would be very frustrating to a student wanting to use this book for research purposes. There is good information but I think the story could have been told in a more engaging manner for young readers. Also, all the sidebars in the book are printed in a thin, gray font that is very difficult to read. Thi ...more
Erica
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kaethe
As soon as I unloaded my library bag, Veronica lifted this off the stack.

Two enthusiastic thumbs up.

She thought it was a little to meander-y at the beginning, but I loved the way Martin went all over the place to give us a really thorough grounding in the situation that set the stage for the disaster.

And what I love even more? Is how, after covering the accident and its aftermath, he goes on to cover modern sweatshops, and modern sweatshop fires due to all the same sorts of causes. Brilliant.

Li
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Hilary
On March 25th, 1911 tragedy struck in a New York City Sweatshop. Fire broke out on the top floors of the Asch Building in which workers employed by the Triangle Waist Company were finishing up their day. One hundred and forty six workers died within a matter of minutes. This book explores issues of immigration in America in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as well as labor issues in the workforce in the same time period.

This book does a very good job of talking not only about a specific ev
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Alicia
A great nonfiction portrayal that takes the Triangle Shirt Waist fire from the inception of the garment district/industry through immigrant workers to the present day sweatshops that still exist that highlight history possibly repeating itself. The fight for workers rights continues in many other countries as it did in New York City during the early 1900s and led to the deaths of a hundred-so workers, mainly Russian Jew and Italian girls who were the primary breadwinners for their family, toilin ...more
Richie Partington
14 February 2011 FLESH & BLOOD SO CHEAP: THE TRIANGLE FIRE AND ITS LEGACY
by Albert Marrin, Knopf, February 2011, 192p., ISBN: 978-0-375-86889-4

"...When you get caught
Between the moon and New York City..."
-- Christopher Cross, Burt Bacharach, and Carole Bayer Sager, "Arthur's Theme"


"Fire safety did not 'pay.' It did not pay the insurance industry, since safer buildings lowered insurance costs, reducing the earnings of insurance sellers, called brokers. They made their living by keeping a p
...more
Lyndy
March 25, 2011 marked the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Fire, one of the worst workplace disasters in American history until the attack on September 11, 2001. The Triangle Shirtwaist Company was housed in the top three floors of an eleven story building which was considered to be fireproof. Because of the modernness of the building, many fire safety precautions were not installed in the building. Although the building was fireproof, the goods that the factory produced were not. Due to these ...more
Brian Kelley
Digging through the "maybe" pile sometimes brings an unknown gem. In my case, that gem is Albert Marrin's Flesh & Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy.

My bookpile, larger than usual, has expanded due to the fact that we need to pick some new literature for the upcoming changes in curriculum. So, I have been forcing myself to read any recommendations, award winners, and well-reviewed fiction, non-fiction, and verse in the hopes of getting it right.

The rough draft of what the new
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Heidi
In this National Book Award Finalist, Marrin provides a thorough overview of the conditions and events that lead up to and contributed to the Triangle Waist Company fire. He also discusses what happened afterwords and how it might have been prevented. He goes on to highlight the fact that such sweatshops and factories are still with us today, both inside and outside the United States. He makes it clear that the labor movement is far from over. He also looks at both sides of the issue, those who ...more
Ann
It is no surprise that this book is a 2011 National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature. I received a courtesy copy from the publisher for review and I was thoroughly engrossed from the beginning. Well-documented and easy to follow, Marrin does an outstanding job of painting a picture of life in New York City at the beginning of the twentieth century and the factors that led to the tragic shirtwaist factory fire on March 25, 1911. But Flesh and Blood is more than the story of a tra ...more
Libby
This book seems like it's a little undecided about its audience -- it's got large print and reasonably easy words as if for young readers, but it's dealing with the gore and tragedy of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, as well as the labor conditions and politics in New York before and after the fire. Maybe it passes the "young reader" filter because there's only violence and no sex, but it feels like a book that's really for grownups -- or at least middle- and high-school students -- and got shoved ...more
David
Flesh and Blood So Cheap by Albert Marrin tells the story of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City on March 25, 1911, one of the deadliest workplace fires in American history. 146 people, mainly women, were killed in the sweatshop fire, due to overcrowding, locked doors and poor safety planning. The fire is placed in historical context with lots of related background and information.

Jewish (Russian) and Italian immigration background is examined, as are the poor working condition
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melissa1lbr
My thoughts:
I have become truly fascinated with the Triangle Waist Factory fire from 1911. I've read plenty of historicaly fiction about it, but don't think I've read enough nonfiction. I was so impressed with the detail and the information the book contained. The photos and other graphic images added just the right touch to everything, keeping it real and making it even more possible to imagine the plight of those women and their families. I was especially interested in the details about modern
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Ellie
Super interesting. I was totally into it until I read a review on Goodreads saying that they were skeptical about this book because it was written by a man and they pointed out that the author kept emphasizing that men died in the Triangle Fire too, which I couldn't help noticing after reading the review.

Overall, a solid explanation of the Triangle Fire and the numerous circumstances that led to it happening, including the waves of immigrants in the early 1900s, the changing fashions, the unioni
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Albert Marrin is a historian and the author of more than twenty nonfiction books for young people. He has won various awards for his writing, including the 2005 James Madison Book Award and the 2008 National Endowment for Humanities Medal. In 2011, his book Flesh and Blood So Cheap was a National Book Award Finalist. Marrin is the Chairman of the History Department at New York's Yeshiva University ...more
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