General Fire Discussion => Fire Related Publications => Topic started by: yfdgricker on May 17, 2007, 05:24:55 PM

Title: Rescue Men by Charles Kenney
Post by: yfdgricker on May 17, 2007, 05:24:55 PM
# Hardcover: 384 pages
# Publisher: PublicAffairs (January 29, 2007)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 1586483102
# ISBN-13: 978-1586483104

From Publishers Weekly
Author (The Last Man; Keep Faith, Change the Church) and former Boston Globe journalist Kenney uses the events of Boston's 1942 Cocoanut Grove Fire ("the greatest fire in the city's history"), to which his grandfather responded as a rescuer, to frame his account of the role firefighting played in the lives of the Kenneys over three generations ("the arc of a story that began and ended with the Grove but contained within it a story of our family"). Because Kenney himself never was part of the "amazing brotherhood" of firefighters, much of his narrative stays at arm's length, relying on documentary-style narrative techniques that maintain an air of authority but mitigate the pathos of the personal. However, the technical descriptions of firefighting, the gripping accounts of fire-related rescues and the sketches of men in love with sacrifice are well handled and moving. In addition, Kenney's ability to weave the story of six brothers growing up in blue-collar Boston, raised by a firefighting veteran father and a bootstrapping granddad, into a tapestry of great social change (WWII, civil rights, integration of schools and the fire department, 9/11) makes for an engaging tale. By the time a Kenney brother is sent as a rescuer to the World Trade Center, the family story and the social one are concluded with fulfilling thematic unity. (Feb.)