Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Teen Book Review: Flesh and Blood So Cheap

by Albert Marrin
Reviewed by Will Hunt

This book , Flesh & Blood So Cheap By Albert Marrin describes the great fire of the Triangle Waist Company which made shirts in New York City, on March 25, 1911, the events that led up to it and the measures put in place after its devastation. The fire destroyed the top 3 floors of the Asch Building. The fire broke out on the 8th, 9th, and 10th floor of the building. One hundred and forty six people died, and only six of the men were identified. The rest were either women or labeled as unidentified. There were many problems that made the fire much worse than it could have been: All the debris on the floor of scraps of cloth, paper pattern pieces, bolts of fabric, oil placed on top of cloth, an elevator that could only fit TWO people at a time, crowded stairways filled with panicking people, people trying to escape, ladders that were to short to reach the factory floors, very few safety measures for fires or anything else that might happen, and worst of all doors that were locked that should have never been locked just to discourage people that come in late and just to keep out union organizers.

Many safety measures were taken: the growth of workers unions, better working conditions for immigrants,(since most of the workers in the factories were immigrants), child labor laws were written, the development of healthier working conditions, and a lot more Government involvement in developing regulations for businesses(although i'm not sure certain that many of these were good developments). Today most businesses are healthier and safer and they receive a decent wage well at least in the United States.

My opinion of this book is that it was a very informative book and that it took a lot of gumption to get through it but it was very well written and gave very vital information and was extremely interesting. There were some bad points though because of course the Socialist Party grew from this. The factory owners received very little punishment for causing all this pain and suffering . The unions helped to give rise to gangsters which caused more strikes. Because of increased costs because of labor unions, businesses moved their factories to developing nations where labor was cheaper but those factories became sweatshops much like the Triangle Waist Company had been in the early 1900's.

Many people believed that the Triangle Waist Company Fire was the worst man made disaster that had occurred in America until the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

My rating: 4/5

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