Cover Image: Talking to the Girls

Talking to the Girls

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Member Reviews

You maybe familiar with one of the most tragic work disasters in New York city and actually it was the worst worker disaster in the city before 9/11. In this tragedy there were 146 lifes lost and most were Women some as young as 14 years old. On March 25th 1911 was the Triangle Shirtwaist fire. This book does not go into the full history of the fire or tell the full stories of the workers involved. This is a collection of stories that are told from the view point of family members, teachers, scholars, those involved with labor and art. When you read the story from family members and they may have discovered how important or how much their family member was. The teachers who use this tragic story to draw in their classes and inspire them to learn and to be involve. This collection of stories are to remember those involved such as Frances Perkins who some say is responsible Social Security, Unemployment insurance, Child Labor Laws, and federal minimum wage witnessed this event and what it led her to accomplish. There are stories that lead those to action and even change lives. It also makes us aware that even though this was over a 100 years ago that we still have incidents like this today all over the world. I was a little concerned that this book would be a little dry or slow in reading but that was not the case. If you have not heard about the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire i strongly encourage to read up on it and while you are at it read this book.
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This may be a bit morbid to admit, but this tragedy has always fascinated me. So, I immensely enjoyed reading about it and the impact that it has had on today.
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Talking to the Girls is a collection of essays written about the Triangle Shirt Factory fire in the early 1900s. The essays explore a range of topics related to the fire, including poverty, immigration, and racism. The working conditions and the number of women who worked in the factory also calls for reflections on women’s rights and the formation of workers unions. I’m not a usually huge fan of anthologies/collections of essays such as this but did find it fairly interesting. I also liked the varied perspectives and view points that this book was able to provide. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review an advanced copy of this book!
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This book took an interesting approach to the Triangle Fire. Some of the essays were stronger than others, which is to be expected in a collection with different authors (and different levels of writing). I would recommend this book to someone who's read the historical accounts of the Triangle Fire, and who wants to examine the event from different (more emotional) perspectives.
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This is an important account of a major historical event but it is also a personal remembrance of the individuals who lost their lives.  The author does a great job of presenting detailed historical information in a way which brings the story to life, offering a genuine social history while also offering a forensic account of a tragedy which led to industrial reform.
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