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On the Fireline Living and Dying with Wildland Firefighters

ISBN-10: 0226144089

ISBN-13: 9780226144085

Edition: 2007

Authors: Matthew Desmond

List price: $26.00
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Description:

Burning to death is a hellish way to die. Yet every year men and women across the country risk their lives for low pay to fight forest fires. Living in remote encampments and isolated from their friends and family, these firefighters stand ready to chase smoke at a moment’s notice. And when a fire does break out, they face a chaotic inferno armed with only hand tools, hard hats, and little else. So what motivates them to put their lives on the line and face heat so intense it can melt steel? In this rugged account of a rugged profession, Matthew Desmond explores the heart and soul of the wildland firefighter. Having joined a firecrew in Northern Arizona as a young man, Desmond relates his experiences with intimate knowledge and native ease, adroitly balancing emotion with analysis, action with insight.On the Firelineshows that these firefighters aren’t the adrenaline junkies or romantic heroes they’re so often portrayed as. Their choice to take on such hazardous work grows naturally from their rural, working-class values, which the Forest Service taps into as it conditions them to risk their lives. Along with exploring how firefighters become acclimated to the hazards of the job,On the Firelinecandidly examines the more everyday facets of their lives as well—we hear their jokes, witness their fights, and observe the close bonds they form while waiting for the next alarm to sound. Matthew Desmond’s revealing and often gripping book is truly one of a kind: an immersion into a dangerous world, a moving portrait of the lives of young people, a sophisticated analysis of a high-risk profession—and a captivating read.
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Book details

List price: $26.00
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 10/30/2007
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 384
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.628
Language: English

Matthew Desmond is assistant professor of sociology and social studies at Harvard University.

Introduction
History and Place
Country Masculinity
The Sanctuary of the Forest
Training and Discipline
A Joke between Brothers
Real Firefighters Drive Green Engines
Learning and Burning
Taking the "Wild" Out of Wildfire
Fire and Death
The Beaver Creek Fire
The Incompetent Dead
Conclusion
Between Native and Alien
Glossary
Notes
Acknowledgments
Index