Cover image for Fire fighters : stories of survival from the front lines of firefighting
Fire fighters : stories of survival from the front lines of firefighting
Willis, Clint.
Publication Information:
New York : Thunder's Mouth Press : Distributed by Publishers Group West, [2002]

Physical Description:
xi, 351 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
General Note:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TH9310.5 .F54 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Firefighters have long been among the most admired men and women in our culture, and recent events have shown how well-placed that admiration is--adding fuel to our innate fascination with stories about fire and the people who risk their lives to fight it. Some of our best writers are drawn to the subject of firefighting, and over the years they have created a rich body of literature. Fire Fighters offers the most exciting and compelling stories from that body of work, including accounts of devastating fires from New York to Yellowstone, as well as smaller blazes that have turned particularly ugly or dangerous. Selections include Jimmy Breslin's eulogy for the men who died in the famous Chelsea fire, Norman McLean on the Great Gulch forest fire that killed nine young smokejumpers, John McPhee on fires in the Pine Barrens, Studs Terkel's interview with a fire fighter, and riveting accounts of the FDNY's role in the September 11 tragedy and its aftermath. 16 black-and-white photos are also featured.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

One casualty of the terrorist atrocities of September 2001 was the ironic attitude toward heroism, which is reflected in the unabashed proliferation of the FDNY logo. Firefighters themselves deny any designation of hero, as this anthology reflects, explaining the risks they take in terms of simply doing their jobs. Those whom they protect, feeling otherwise, may find an outlet for admiration in the 20-plus stories editor Willis has assembled here. New York's firefighters are strongly represented: two articles profile men swept into the World Trade Center maelstrom: the FDNY's second-in-command, who died, and survivor Kevin Shea. In oral-history format, New York firefighters relate harrowing accident scenes, from flaming warehouses to plane crashes, which they bravely entered. West of the Hudson, Willis sifted the literature of forest fires and includes excerpts from Norman MacLean's wildly popular Young Men and Fire (1992) plus several authors' direct experiences of working the fire line at Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon. Mere display guarantees this collection's circulation. --Gilbert Taylor

Table of Contents

Sebastian JungerDavid GrannSteve DelsohnMichael ThoeleStuds TerkelStuds TerkelDennis SmithLarry BrownElizabeth KolbertSallie TisdaleNorman MacleanStephen J. PyneNorman MacleanEdward AbbeyThomas HackettAlan Carey and Sandy CareyEd EngleLouise WagenknechtRick BassJohn McPheeStephen Crane
Photographsp. viii
Introductionp. ix
Blowup: What Went Wrong at Storm King Mountainp. 1
Which Way Did He Run?p. 17
from The Fire Inside: Firefighters Talk About Their Livesp. 35
from Fire Line: Summer Battles of the Westp. 57
from Workingp. 73
from Will the Circle Be Unbroken?p. 81
from Report from Engine Co. 82p. 87
from On Firep. 95
The Chiefp. 105
Bound Upon a Wheel of Firep. 117
from Young Men and Firep. 127
from Fire on the Rimp. 165
from USFS 1919: The Ranger, the Cook, and a Hole in the Skyp. 197
from The Journey Homep. 223
A Reporter at Large: Firep. 251
from Yellowstone's Red Summerp. 289
from Seasonal: A Life Outsidep. 293
Pride and Glory of Firefighting Is Hard to Resistp. 309
The Fires Next Timep. 315
from The Pine Barrensp. 327
When Every One Is Panic Strickenp. 339
Acknowledgmentsp. 347
Permissionsp. 348
Bibliographyp. 350