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

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  1,263 Ratings  ·  259 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 mom
Hardcover, 182 pages
Published February 8th 2011 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2011)
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Kate Lynn
Feb 10, 2017 Kate Lynn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, thesis
Marrin's book is for young adults, but anyone can benefit from the information it contains. One of my favorite parts of reading it was the carefully selected pictures that matched the sights being describe.

Yes, it does contain a lot of the same facts and stories other books on the Triangle Fire have, but there is also information you may not know. Martin focuses his time outside of the main events on immigrant life and leisure. At the end of the book, he also looks into organized crime in the g
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
Mar 05, 2014 Paige rated it really liked it
Shelves: info-bios
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
Mar 22, 2017 Sean rated it it was ok
Not my cup of tea.
Sunday Cummins
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
David Quinn
Jan 12, 2017 David Quinn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't know this was a YA book until I borrowed the kindle version from my library. I'm glad I didn't know because I probably wouldn't have read it and that would have been my loss.

The book is solid all around. The author provides the right amount of background history to set the stage, he tells the story very well and he does a very nice job describing the aftermath of the fire and its impact on the garment industry labor environment in the near and long term. There are lots of very useful ph
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-
Margo Tanenbaum
Mar 22, 2011 Margo Tanenbaum rated it it was amazing
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
May 05, 2014 Natalie rated it liked it
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
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
Sep 01, 2011 Marianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So far, very good.

I always learn something new while reading Children's nonfiction. Last night I learned the origins of "beyond the pale."
Edward Sullivan
Excellent history that places the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911 in the context of tenement life for new immigrants in early 20th century New York City and the rise of the labor movement.
Richie Partington
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
Brian Kelley
Mar 01, 2012 Brian Kelley rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 09, 2011 Jessica rated it liked it
Although I'm a fan of narrative non-fiction for adults (like Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal or Blink), I wasn't sure if today's children were. Other than an errant picture book biography here and there, I haven't seen many non-fiction titles targeted for pleasure reading, rather than a book that children use to write history reports and whatnot. I assumed that Flesh and Blood So Cheap wouldn't be suitable for classroom curriculum because it would focus on such a specifi ...more
Sep 09, 2013 Angela rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
In March of 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York caught fire. Due to so many highly flammable materials in the factory, the flames quickly tore through the crowded upper floor sweatshop. Doors were locked to prevent workers from leaving early, fire exits were not functional, and 146 people—mostly immigrant women— in the crowded factory died. Because of this fire, laws and preventative measures have been put in place to keep our workplaces and public venues safer. For example, doors ...more
I read this one in two sittings, a week or two apart. Once you pick it up, it's an aborbing read as much for as its horrors as its way of making history come alive. But it's not exactly cheerful reading for a lunch break, so it sat around my living room for a while before getting picked up again.

I'd argue that the story isn't as much about the Triangle Fire as it is about social conditions that led up to the fire and reforms attempted in the aftermath of the fire. The horrifying events of the fi
Oct 22, 2012 Erin rated it it was amazing
In Flesh and Blood So Cheap, Albert Marrin tells the story of the history leading up to the tragic Triangle fire of March 25, 1911, as well as the legacy it left behind. The story begins with the history behind the mass emigration of Russian Jews and Italians to New York City around the turn of the century. Fleeing their homelands with hopes and dreams of a better life, millions of immigrants boarded filthy, overcrowded ships heading to America. Upon arrival these immigrants were not met with we ...more
American Mensa
Flesh & Blood So Cheap by Albert Marrin is about the Triangle Fire in New York City. The story takes place in the early 20th century. It is one the most shocking events in U.S history before 9/11. At the time, there was no Medicare, no safety laws regarding fire escapes, nothing like that. Back then, if you worked in the clothing industry and you died at work, it was "ok". In the clothing factories, workers dealt with arsenic and other poisonous materials. There were a lot of dangers at work ...more
Nicole Dreibelbeis
Flesh and Blood So Cheap by Al Marrin was an easy-to-read book chocked full of information about the Triangle Shirtwaist Company Factory Fire. I have been fascinated by the Triangle Factory fire since I read Ashes of Roses by Mary Jane Auch several years ago. I think one of the reasons I find it so fascinating, and what I believe will also make it feel relevant to young adult readers, is that most of the women who worked in the factory were between 14 and 20 years old. These girls struggled thro ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This book was actually more interesting than the adult book I read about this fire several years ago. Marrin not only relates the story of the Triangle Waist Factory fire of 1911, but also places it in the context of society at the time--of the Italian and Russian immigrants, of the garment industry, and of New York City politics. He discusses the rise of the labor unions and how this fire affected the garment industry unions in New York. Marrin introduced me to influential union ladies about wh ...more
Oct 18, 2014 Erica rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
C.C. Thomas
Dec 03, 2011 C.C. Thomas rated it really liked it
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York City occurred on March 25, 1911, and was the deadliest work disaster until the destruction of the Twin Towers in 2001. The details about that day are stunning: 146 workers died, most young immigrant women; many leaped to their death from ten floors up rather than being burned alive; no one man or business was ever charged with wrongdoing concerning the fire--indeed, the owners collected heavily on the insurance; on the day of the funeral, nearly 4 ...more
A few years ago I read the very interesting biography of social reformer Jacob Riis. This book makes an excellent companion book to that one. In fact the title, "Flesh and Blood So Cheap" is a quote from Riss' book How the Other Half Lives.

While the title of "Flesh and Blood So Cheap, The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy" leads one to believe the book is about the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, the book reaches much further than that.
This book chronicles the story of those working at the factory. Who wer
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
Jan 29, 2012 Mark rated it really liked it
"Oh God! That bread should be so dear, and flesh and blood so cheap."

This well-researched and accessible book is an account of the horrendous fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City, in 1911. 146 people (mostly women) died in the fire, which until 2001, had been the worst workplace fire in American history. It would have been easy for Marrin to simply chronicle the events of the fire itself, because they were certainly dramatic enough. But the true strength of this book lies in
Jan 15, 2015 Lia rated it really liked it
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
Dec 06, 2011 Christina rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Excellent nonfiction book about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911. I've always found this period of history, and this particular event, fascinating, and I really enjoyed this comprehensive look at both. Thoroughly researched and footnoted, with liberal use of photographs on nearly every page, this book covers much before and after the fire, giving the history of Jewish and Russian immigration to New York City (why they left, not just that they came in droves), explaining the living an ...more
Feb 12, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it
Shelves: ncbla, immigration
The death of 146 factory workers, most of them women, in 1911 sparked changes in working conditions across the country. This book, published 100 years after the Triangle Fire in New York City, describes the disaster that needlessly took so many lives, and as such, it serves as a tribute to how much things have changed for the working poor. And yet, Marrin also makes it clear that sweatshops continue to operate in this country as well as other developing countries, making it likely that a similar ...more
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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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