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Seven Fires Peter Charles Hoffer

Seven Fires

Peter Charles Hoffer

Published October 30th 2008
ISBN : 9781586484378
Paperback
448 pages
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 About the Book 

This is the story of how seven urban fires - dramatic and terrible conflagrations in themselves - have together shaped the larger course of American history. The Boston fire of 1760 set the stage for the American Revolution. The Pittsburgh fire ofMoreThis is the story of how seven urban fires - dramatic and terrible conflagrations in themselves - have together shaped the larger course of American history. The Boston fire of 1760 set the stage for the American Revolution. The Pittsburgh fire of 1845 proved how adaptable historical memory could be. From the ashes of the Chicago fire of 1871 emerged the modern skyscraper - transforming urban living and land values - and sparking the class strife of the Haymarket Riots and the Pullman strike. The Baltimore fire of 1904 showed how an utterly destroyed downtown could reinvent itself after a catastrophe - but at the expense of the lower income inhabitants who would be displaced by the renewal. The Detroit fire of 1967 forced politicians to concede what the people of Detroit already knew: that racism and racially-based deprivation were not changed by the civil rights movement. The Oakland Hills fire demolished a landscape of private privilege and showed the perils of ex-urban communities, no matter how affluent. Apart from their domestic and global implications, the fires of 9/11 have prodded a sometime complacent nation to admit that twenty-first-century emergency services and the urban lifestyles they protect have to be thoroughly rethought.