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The Fires by Joe Flood

The Fires

The Fires by Joe Flood
Paperback
Apr 05, 2011 | 368 Pages
See All Formats (1) +
  • Paperback $16.00

    Apr 05, 2011 | 368 Pages

  • Ebook $12.99

    May 27, 2010 | 368 Pages

Product Details

Praise

“Flood casts a wide net, looking into New York machine politics, the development of systems analysis, the dynamics of urban growth and an array of unexpected byways… a riveting look inside one of the most challenging eras of recent NYC history. Important reading for anyone who cares about cities and how they are governed.”
-Kirkus Reviews

“[Flood’s] compelling research resonates in another era of budget-cutting and data-driven decision-making.”
The New York Times

“”Flood’s book, an account of the fire epidemic that ravaged the city in the 1970s, traces the history of well-intended government intervention that, the author claims, inadvertently fanned the flames of an era that FDNY veterans still call “The War Years.” The period has a certain eerie connection to the present day: a technocratic mayor closing firehouses amid massive budget cuts while the local economy stagnates. … The story warns against the risks inherent in even the best-intended reformist plans.”
The Wall Street Journal

“It’s comforting to believe that science, technology, and intellectual rigor can solve the world’s ills. In The Fires, Joe Flood pierces that progressive certainty by exhaustively researching a long-forgotten period of New York’s history-when algorithms helped the city’s smartest leaders let the city burn. Flood’s book reads like the best fiction, but is all the more important for its depiction of a real-life metropolitan tragedy.”
-Farhad Manjoo, Slate‘s technology columnist and the author of True Enough

The Fires is a gripping story of human tragedy and intellectual hubris that casts important new light on one of the most extraordinary episodes in the history of urban living. A cross between The Power Broker and The Wire, The Fires gives us crucial answers to a big question: how do cities fail?”
-Steven Johnson, author of Everything Bad is Good for You and The Ghost Map

“I arrived in the South Bronx as a young firefighter in 1970. The enormity of the devastation was overwhelming. The fact that the city kept burning, despite the dedication of my fellow firefighters, seemed to defy logical explanation. Joe Flood has done an outstanding job making sense out of the chaos, showing the forces that were permanently reshaping New York-starting with the Fire Department-as it headed for the triumphs and tragedies of the 21st century.”
-Thomas Von Essen, Former New York City Fire Commissioner (1996-2002) and author of Strong of Heart

“In a novel, fascinating manner, Joe Flood uses the NYC Fire Department as the anvil on which to hammer out the events between 1965 and 1977 that led to the city’s collapse and changed the way we run big cities. Although already familiar with what occurred-not only did I live through it, but I inherited it when I became Mayor-I was enthralled by Flood’s spectacular and insightful account.”
-Ed Koch, former Mayor of New York City

“In a story that reads like an epic novel, Joe Flood illustrates for us just how our greatest city declined and completely fell apart forty years ago, at the hands of a managing elite who believed they could plan, organize, and control a city by studying computer trends and implementing lofty plans. Our leaders, from Barack Obama to Michael Bloomberg, have much to gain from reading The Fires, and the rest of us have much to lose if we do not read this enlightening and erudite book, for we are on the brink of letting this history repeat itself.”
-Dennis Smith, author of Report from Engine Co. 82 and Report from Ground Zero

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