What's Going On Here?

There are SO MANY wonderful book review blogs out there and I can't compete with them, that is for sure. So this is not a book review blog. This is just a way for me to organize what I have read so that I can be better at matching the right book to the right person. The blog title comes from the brilliant mind of the most talented woman who ever lived, Ms. Judy Garland. The full quote is, "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else." That is what I hope to do here and in ever aspect of my life.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

When I was a little girl...

we had a book around the house about fire disasters, Going to Blazes.  I remember this book being both scary and fascinating.   There were chapters on the fire at Cocoanut Grove, the Hartford Circus (also the topic of this book I read and loved) and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.  I don't remember reading about the Hartford Circus back then, but the Triangle Fire stuck with me, I think because the pictures were so graphic and I was a young girl reading the book, learning about young girls whose lives seemed so very different from mine and were lost so horrifically.
So there was this dirtbag, Max Blanck and this other creep, Isaac Harris.  These guys owned the factory.  They themselves had escaped their native Russia because of the religious persecution and the pogroms of the Russian Empire.  They came to America penniless and worked their way up and then they hired young girls who had also escaped their countries of origin due to the same pogroms or starvation or other forms of hell.  When they hired these girls they paid them nothing, they worked them nearly to death in horribly unsafe places.  And this horrible fire breaks out and kills more than a hundred of them.  Harris and Blanck get fined.  Nice.  And then years later, Blanck is fined again.   Again.  For doing the same stuff.  Locking doors so workers in his factory can't get out.  Nice.  Really freakin nice.  Blanck and Harris.  Good going.  Nice.  I hope you made a lot of money and felt really good about it.  Nice.  If you read more about Blanck and Harris, I suggest that you make sure your blood pressure is under control.  It is VERY upsetting.
Uprising is about the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, but it is more than that.  It is the story of gender and class and immigration and prejudice and suffrage, and well, this book has a lot to think about and I think it would be an excellent book discussion group for moms and daughters, grandmas and daughters, etc.

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