Book of the Week: ‘Young Men and Fire’

Young Men and Fire

Norman Maclean

1992, 301 pages


Winner of the 1992 National Book Critic Circle Award, Maclean’s Young Men and Fire is a gripping account of a terrible fire in 1949 that claimed the lives of 13 U.S. Forest Service smokejumpers. It starts with a lightning storm in the Montana wilderness and follows the brave young men that were sent to fight one of the fires left in the storm’s wake. What seems like an average forest fire soon “blows up” and the trapped smokejumpers are left racing for their lives.

Maclean leaves no stone unturned in his investigation of the tragic event by tracking down survivors, scouring the U.S. Fire Service’s archives and applying mathematics and fire science to the case. The author does the men justice with his thoughtful prose and dogged pursuit of the truth.

Readers will enjoy learning about the first smokejumpers and the evolution of fighting forest fires. Borrow the eBook through the Concord Public Library’s N.H. Downloadable Books service.

Mat Bose Concord Public Library

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Author: Insider Staff

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