Recommended by Bill
Triangle: The Fire That Changed America by David Von Drehle
This book is barely on my list of recommendations, but that's not the book's fault. This book does tell the story of the horrible Triangle Shirtwaist Fire that claimed 146 lives. However, it also spends a lot of time explaining the political climate in New York City prior to the fire, as well as the story of the fall out from the fire.
As firefighters, we tend to look at fires from the standpoint of from when the bell goes off, to when we go back in service. This book examines the fire by detailing all of the events that led up to the tragic day. Maybe I'm wrong to say that this book only makes my list "barely." Maybe we all should be looking at these events in a larger context.
Anyway, it's a very well written, very detailed book about a fire that never should have happened. But when you see the time and atmosphere that it did occur in, we can't be at all surprised when that spark is first lit.
Recommended for all ranks (because as a member of the fire profession, we should have a knowledge of our history.)