Young Men and Fire:A True Story of the Mann Gulch Fire



On August 5, 1949, A Crew Of Fifteen Of The United States Forest Service S Elite Airborne Firefighters, The Smoke Jumpers, Stepped Into The Sky Above A Remote Forest Fire In The Montana Wilderness Two Hours After Their Jump, All But Three Of These Men Were Dead Or Mortally Burned From Ablowupan Explosive, 2,000 Degree Firestorm 300 Feet Deep And 200 Feet Tall A Deadly Explosion Of Flame And Wind Rarely Encountered And Little Understood At The Time Only Seconds Ahead Of The Approaching Firestorm, The Foreman, R Wagner Dodge, Throws Himself Into The Ashes Of Anescape Fireand Survives As Most Of His Confused Men Run, Their Last Moments Obscured By Smoke The Parents Of The Dead Cry Murder, Charging That The Foreman S Fire Killed Their Boys Exactly What Happened In Mann Gulch That Day Has Been Obscured By Years Of Grief And Controversy Now A Master Storyteller Finally Gives The Mann Gulch Fire Its Due As Tragedy These First Deaths Among The Forest Service S Elite Firefighters Prompted Widespread Examination Of Federal Fire Policy, Of The Field Of Fire Science, And Of The Frailty Of Young Men For Maclean, Who Witnessed The Fire From The Ground In August Of 1949, And Even Then He Knew He Would One Day Become A Part Of Its Story It Is A Story Of Montana, Of The Ways Of Wildfires, Firefighters, And Fire Scientists, And Especially Of A Crew, Young And Proud, Whohadn T Learned To Count The Odds And To Sense They Might Owe The Universe A TragedyThis Tale Is Also Maclean S Own, The Story Of A Writer Obsessed By A Strange And Human Horror, Unable To Let The Truth Die With These Young Men, Searching For The Last And Lasting Word A Canvas On Which To Tell Many Stories, Including The Story Of His Research Into The Story Itself And Finally Nature S Violence Colliding With Human Fallibility Haunted By These Deaths For Forty Years, Norman Maclean Returned To The Scene With Two Of The Survivors And Pursues The Mysteries That Mann Gulch Has Kept Hidden Since 1949 From The Words Of Witnesses, The Evidence Of History, And The Research Of Fire Scientists, Maclean At Last Assembles The Scattered Pieces Of The Mann Gulch Tragedy In His Last Work That Consumed 14 Years Of His Life, And Earned A 1992 National Book Critics Circle Award The Excruciating Detail Of This Book Makes For A Sobering Reading Experience Maclean A Former University Of Chicago English Professor And Avid Fisherman Also Wrote A River Runs Through It And Other Stories , Which Is Set Along The Missouri River, One Gulch Downstream From Mann GulchA Magnificent Drama Of Writing, A Tragedy That Pays Tribute To The Dead And Offers Rescue To The Living Maclean S Search For The Truth, Which Becomes An Exploration Of His Own Mortality, Is Compelling Even Than His Journey Into The Heart Of The Fire His Description Of The Conflagration Terrifies, But It Is His Battle With Words, His Effort To Turn The Story Of The 13 Men Into Tragedy That Makes This Book A Classicfrom New York Times Book Review Editor S Choice, Best Books Of 1992 The Men Who Perished In The Mann Gulch FireRobert J Bennett Eldon E Diettert James O Harrison William J Heilman Phillip R McVey David R Navon Leonard L Piper Stanley J Reba Marvin L Sherman Joseph B Sylvia Henry J Thol, Jr Newton R Thompson Silas R Thompson Survivors Of The FireR Wagner Dodge, Foreman Walter B Rumsey Robert W SalleeYoung Men and Fire:A True Story of the Mann Gulch Fire

See this thread for information.Born in Clarinda, Iowa, on December 23, 1902, Maclean was the son of Clara Davidson 1873 1952 and the Rev John Maclean 1862 1941 , a Scottish Presbyterian minister, who managed much of the education of the young Norman and his brother Paul 1906 1938 until 1913 The family relocated to Missoula, Montana in 1909 The following years were a considerable influence on and inspiration to his writings, appearing prominently in the short story The Woods, Books, and Truant Officers 1977 , and semi autobiographical novella A River Runs Through It 1976.Too young to enlist in the military during World War I, Maclean worked in logging camps and for the United States Forest Service in what is now the Bitterroot National Forest of northwestern Montana The novella USFS 1919 The Ranger, the Cook, and a Hole in the Sky and the story Black Ghost in Young Men and Fire 1992 are semi fictionalized accounts of these experiences.Maclean attended Dartmouth College, where he served as editor in chief of the humor magazine the Dartmouth Jack O Lantern the editor in chief to follow him was Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr Seuss He was also a member of the Sphinx senior society and Beta Theta Pi He received his Bachelor of Arts in 1924, and chose to remain in Hanover, New Hampshire, and serve as an instructor until 1926 a time he recalled in This Quarter I Am Taking McKeon A Few Remarks on the Art of Teaching He began graduate studies in English at the University of Chicago in 1928 Three years later he was hired as a professor at University of Chicago, where he received three Quantrell Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching On 24 September 1931 Maclean married Jessie Burns died 1968 , a red headed Scots Irish woman from Wolf Creek, Montana They later had two children a daughter Jean born in 1942 , now a lawyer and a son, John born in 1943 , now a journalist and author of Fire on the Mountain The True Story of the South Canyon Fire 1999 , and two other books, Fire Ashes 2003 and The Thirtymile Fire A Chronicle of Bravery and Betrayal 2007.In 1940, Maclean earned his doctorate from the University of Chicago where during World War II he declined a commission in Naval intelligence to serve as Dean of Students During the war he also served as Director of the Institute on Military Studies, and co authored Manual of Instruction in Military Maps and Aerial Photographs At the University of Chicago, Maclean taught Shakespeare and the Romantic poets, and he produced two scholarly articles, From Action to Image Theories of the Lyric in the Eighteenth Century and Episode, Scene, Speech, and Word The Madness of Lear The latter essay elaborates a theory of tragedy that Maclean would revisit in his later work the essay is available here From approximately 1959 to 1963, Maclean worked on a book about George Armstrong Custer and the Battle of the Little Big Horn that he never completed, but from which excerpts were recently published During his last decade on the Chicago faculty, Maclean held an endowed chair as William Rainey Harper Professor of English After his retirement in 1973, he began, as his children Jean and John had often encouraged him, to write down the stories he liked to tell His most acclaimed story, A River Runs Through It and Other Stories was published in 1976, the first work of original fiction published by the University of Chicago Press This title was nominated by a selection committee to receive the Pulitzer Prize in Letters in 1977, but the full committee ignored the nomination and did not award a Pulitzer in that category for the year A River Runs Through It was adapted into a motion picture directed by Robert Redford

✅ Young Men and Fire:A True Story of the Mann Gulch Fire PDF / Epub ⚣ Author Norman Maclean – E17streets4all.co.uk
  • Hardcover
  • 316 pages
  • Young Men and Fire:A True Story of the Mann Gulch Fire
  • Norman Maclean
  • English
  • 16 March 2017
  • 9780226500614

10 thoughts on “Young Men and Fire:A True Story of the Mann Gulch Fire

  1. says:

    Superficially, Young Men and Fire is the story of fifteen elite Smokejumpers who died in Mann Gulch, Montana, in 1949 The Smokejumpers were all young men, the best of the best in their chosen profession fighting forest fires Yet, in Mann Gulch, they d been overtaken by fire and died clawing at the steep grassy slopes Really, though, this is a book about dying, and the important lessons about life that death provides For it is death that gives life its value it is death, or rather, the knowledge that we are all finite, that gives us our nobility we love and work and plan as though we have forever, when in reality, the grains of sand started slipping through the hour glass from our first breath of air Norman Maclean sets out to tell the story of Mann Gulch To answer the question of how it could ve happened Along the way, however, the book becomes a meditation of life how we grow, how we die, how we learn, and how wisdom eludes us Maclean, of A River Runs Through It fame, writes near the end I, an old man, have written this fire report Among other things, it was important to me, as an exercise for old age, to enlarge my knowledge and spirit so I could accompany young men whose lives I might have lived on their way to death I have climbed where they climbed, and in my time I have fought fire and inquired into its nature In addition, I have lived to get a better unders...

  2. says:

    This book was not published until after the author s death I think this shows What is provided here is a manuscript not properly finished It is repetitive The writing is in sections unclear This is a book of non fiction Many details about the Mann Gulch Fire of August 5, 1949 are documented At the same time, the author states that he seeks to tell of the event as a story because a story should capture the souls of the men fighting and portray the events with compassion, compassion for those who took part in combating the fire The result is a mix an attempt to both relate events coherently and draw a story through lyrical prose The result is a disturbing, confusing mess I don t believe the author would have accepted publication of the text as it stands now Only minor changes were made in the text before publication I loved A River Runs Through it and Other Stories Reading Young Men and Fire has upset me because it has neither the coherence nor the quality of writing I expected.For a clear understanding of the events of the Mann Gulch Fire, I recommend you read this first half of the book relates the events of the fire There is a detailed discussion of the cause of the blowup The second half deals with the legal proceedings regarding negligence charges claimed by families of those who died...

  3. says:

    A beautifully written and haunting book that dissects the tragedy that befell the Montana Smokejumpers in Mann Gulch Montana in 1949 About as perfect a non fiction book that I have ever read McLean deserved a Pulitzer for this book that he wrote as a very old man It was published posthumously in 1992, he died at 88 two years earlier Not surprisingly, the River Runs Through It is also one of my favorite books Young Men and Fire, was the ultimate tribute to those who died The forensic analysis laid out by MacLean and his good friend leads to a shocking conclusion some thirty years after the fire.I must admit that fire scares me quite a bit I saw our neighbor s house burn down one winter evening as a child and we also witnessed our restaurant burn after a lightning strike met with a faulty electrical transformer These vivid memories are etched in my mind and in combination with MacLean s writing, I felt a visceral reaction from the first page.This book, if it has a fault, presents the science and eyewitness accounts in a way that leads the reader down a very long path with no happy outcome Combined with MacLean s masterful an...

  4. says:

    A powerful, emotional and compelling story, this book probably deserves better than the two stars I am giving it Frankly, I was not so engaged with it as I had hoped to be and found it quite a slog to get to the end The writing tends toward the poetical in many places which I appreciate while sticking to what facts Maclean was able to unearth in his 20 plus years of research on this forest fire tragedy that killed so many young men in a very few minutes The problem for me as a reader was not that the research was exhaustive, but that the process of describing the research was exhausting and many sections seemed repetitive Of course this was an unfinished manuscript that was found among the author s papers after his death It was minimally edited into...

  5. says:

    History has a hard job Such books have to focus on how the event happened The reader sees in the loose accumulation of facts the vague certainty of what is to come Everyone on the scene is heartbreakingly oblivious Before we open Norman Maclean s remarkable Young Men and Fire we know that on August 5, 1949, a fire in Mann Gulch, Montana, killed a dozen young firefighters Maclean, who was nearby that day, was haunted by the tragedy all his life, since so much was unknown...

  6. says:

    I LOVE THIS BOOK I read it almost annually.My husband was a fire fighter for the Forest Service, but not a smokejumper, which is why we originally purchased the book However, I fell in love with this tale that covers a tragedy in almost classic epic style, combined wit...

  7. says:

    What led me to search for this story was the song Cold Missouri Waters by James Keelaghan The lyrics follow My name is Dodge, but then you know thatIt s written on the chart there at the foot end of the bedThey think I m blind, I can t read itI ve read it every word, and every word it says is deathSo, Confession is that the reason that you cameGet it off my chest before I check out of the gameSince you mention it, well there s thirteen things I ll nameThirteen crosses high above the cold Missouri watersAugust Forty Nine, north MontanaThe hottest day on record, the forest tinder dryLightning strikes in the mountainsI was crew chief at the jump base, I prepared the boys to flyPick the drop zone, C 47 comes in lowFeel the tap upon your leg that tells you goSee the circle of the fire down belowFifteen of us dropped above the cold Missouri watersGauged the fire, I d seen biggerSo I ordered them to sidehill and we d fight it from belowWe d have our backs to the riverWe d have it licked by morning even if we took it slowBut the fire crowned, jumped the valley just aheadToo big to fight it, we d have to fight that slope insteadFlames one step behind above the cold Missouri watersSky had turned red, smoke was boilingTwo hundred yards to safety, death was fifty yards behindI don t know why I just thought itI struck a match to waist high grass running out of timeTried to tell them, Step into this fire I setWe can t make it, this is the only chance yo...

  8. says:

    Young Men and Fire is the true story of the tragic Mann Gulch forest fire on Aug 5, 1949, and the 13 Forest Service Smoke Jumpers who perished These men were mostly young, some just teenagers who had experience parachuting and fighting forest fires The author Norman MacLean of A River Runs Through It , wrote this report , as an old man near the end of his life, partly because he had been a forester early in his life and knew what it is like to be fighting forest fires, and because he grieved for the men who lost their lives so young with so much ahead of them that would never be realized he grieved for their families as well Mann Gulch is part of the Helena National Forest in Montana As is always the case, whenever there is a tragedy like this, folks want someone to blame MacLean s story, which he called a report, came after the experts and committees had thoroughly reviewed the facts, but he wanted to know for himself, what happened There were 3 survivors, the foreman, and 2 other smoke jumpers Here is the conclusion that I, having read the book and Mr Maclean s no one is to blame Because Mother Nature has her own ideas, and the changing conditions of winds and the change in fuel, from timber to grass, high temperatures and extremely dry fire conditions, a 74 out of 100 on the forest fire likelyhood scale, they had a low to no percentage for escape I highly recommend this book I was fortunate to have an audio copy, read by John Maclean after his father s death I thought ...

  9. says:

    Having grown up about 30 miles from Mann Gulch, in Helena, I think I m probably interested in the subject matter than most people However, I thought this book was still really interesting even without having been to the Missouri River at Mann Gulch During the school year, we would take field trips out to the Gates of the Mountains and take the tour boat, which turns around pretty much at Mann Gulch When Maclean describes the change in mountain cliffs to prairie, I can see it so vividly Besides taking the tour boat many times, my family or friends would go boating out at the Gates.I probably would have never have read this book, though, except I saw it on my brother in law s bookshelf He s a firefighter and has fought many a wildfire in the West He said it was really good, so I finally picked it up from the library about 6 months later I think it s really interesting how Maclean portrays the Forest Service, so I m looking forward to someday talking to ...

  10. says:

    In Young Men and Fire, Norman Maclean s background as woodsman, scholar, and storyteller blends the perfect mix of wry pragmatism, scientific research, and compassionate narration Having read The Big Burn first provided a deeper understanding of the context in which N.M examines the Mann Gulch fire, the reach of its legacy, and the lives and deaths of the Smokejumpers sent to kill it in 1949 The last section of Young Men and Fire refers to convergence multiple times and this term accurately describes the entire book as well as the Mann Gulch fire The convergence of good intentions with bad circumstances of man s tunnel vision with nature s fury of tenacious historians with scientific mysteries of survivors imperfect memories with empirical facts Norman Maclean writes with an enchanting balance of no nonsense compassion and empathy for human foibles It s easy to believe that he was a very popular and wise professor with long wait lists for his cla...

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