The Hamlet Fire : a tragic story of cheap food, cheap government, and cheap lives

Title
The Hamlet Fire : a tragic story of cheap food, cheap government, and cheap lives / Bryant Simon.
Author
Simon, Bryant,
Publication
New York : The New Press, 2017.

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TextUse in libraryRequestJFE 18-5747Schwarzman Building - Main Reading Room 315

Details

Description
303 pages : illustrations, maps; 25 cm
Bibliography (note)
  • Includes bibliographical references (pages 249-291) and index.
Contents
Hamlet -- Silence -- Chicken -- Labor -- Bodies -- Deregulation -- Endings.
Call Number
JFE 18-5747
ISBN
  • 9781620972380
  • 1620972387
LCCN
  • 2017014037
  • 40027443573
OCLC
974699690
Author
Simon, Bryant, author.
Title
The Hamlet Fire : a tragic story of cheap food, cheap government, and cheap lives / Bryant Simon.
Publisher
New York : The New Press, 2017.
Type of Content
text
Type of Medium
unmediated
Type of Carrier
volume
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 249-291) and index.
Summary
"Just over twenty-five years ago, on the day after Labor Day, a chicken processing factory in Hamlet, North Carolina, burst into flames. The blaze immediately created a wall of heat and split the factory in half. Twenty-five people--eighteen of whom were women, twelve of whom were black--perished behind the plant's bolted doors. In previous decades, Hamlet had thrived thanks to the railroad. But by the 1970s, it was a postindustrial backwater, a magnet for businesses searching for cheap labor and little oversight. One of these businesses was Imperial Food Products, which paid its workers a dollar above the nation's paltry minimum wage--then $4.25 an hour--to scrape gobs of fat off frozen chicken breasts before they were battered and fried into golden-brown tenders. If a worker complained about the pace of the line or missed a shift to take care of children or went to the bathroom too often they were fired. But workers kept quiet and kept coming back because jobs were scarce. Eighty years after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, industrial disasters were supposed to have been a thing of the past. After spending several years talking to local residents, state officials, and survivors of the fire, award-winning historian Bryant Simon has written a vivid, potent, and gripping work of narrative nonfiction .... The Hamlet Fire is a disturbing social autopsy of a town, a nation, and a time that shows how cheap labor, cheap government, and cheap food came together in a way that was bound for tragedy."--Jacket.
Chronological Term
1991
Other Form:
Online version: Simon, Bryant. Hamlet Fire New York : The New Press, [2017] 9781620972397
Other Standard Identifier
40027443573
Research Call Number
JFE 18-5747
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