The Circus Fire

The Circus Fire

Book - 2000
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The acclaimed author ofA Prayer for the Dyingbrings all his narrative gifts to bear on this gripping account of tragedy and heroism-the great Hartford circus fire of 1944. Halfway through a midsummer afternoon performance, Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus's big top caught fire. The tent had been waterproofed with a mixture of paraffin and gasoline; in seconds it was burning out of control, and more than 8,000 people were trapped inside. Drawing on interviews with hundreds of survivors, O'Nan skillfully re-creates the horrific events and illuminates the psychological oddities of human behavior under stress: the mad scramble for the exits; the hero who tossed dozens of children to safety before being trampled to death. Brilliantly constructed and exceptionally moving,The Circus Fireis history at its most compelling. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, 2000.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780385496841
Branch Call Number: 974.63/O'NAN
Characteristics: 370p. 24cm.


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Apr 11, 2012

This was a truly horrifying tragedy. I had never realized that circus tents were treated with such flammable materials. The author has written an engrossing narrative that, while perhaps a bit graphic in parts, keeps one riveted.


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