New York City, 1968 The RAND Corporation Had Presented An Alluring Proposal To A City On The Brink Of Economic Collapse Using RAND S Computer Models, Which Had Been Successfully Implemented In High Level Military Operations, The City Could Save Millions Of Dollars By Establishingefficient Public Services The RAND Boys Were The Best And Brightest, And Bore All The


10 thoughts on “The Fires

  1. Lex Lex says:

    This is a really fascinating book for people interested in the Bronx and Brooklyn and parts of lower Manhattan during the 70s I never quite understood why my parents were so terrified when I announced to them I d be teaching in the South Bronx, but after reading this book, I realized what their memories were of the South Bronx during this time period My d...


  2. Sean O Sean O says:

    This story starts out as a Let s champion rationality and progressivism in city government with the story of the rise of power of Mayor John Lindsay, and the lateral rise of power of the Robert McNamara Whiz Kids that helped JFK and LBJ run the Viet Nam war.And then the story shifts to the difference between large root cause fixers of problems, like the power broker Robert Moses and the small branch and twig fixers of problems, like the Tammany machine street politics found in most big c This story starts out as a Let s champion rationality and progressivism in city government with the story of the rise of power of Mayor John Lindsay, and the lateral rise of power of the Robert McNamara Whiz Kids that helped JFK and LBJ run the Viet Nam war.And then the story shifts to the difference between large root cause fixers of problems, like the power broker Robert Moses and the small branch and twig fixers...


  3. Graham Graham says:

    Joe Flood is perhaps the best possible name for the author of a book called The Fires Or,completely, The Fires How a Computer Formula, Big Ideas, and the Best of Intentions Burned Down New York City and Determined the Future of Cities That title is a mouthful, but accurately reflects the amazing and diverse subtopics that Flood effortlessly moves back and forth across in explaining the rash of fires in 1970s New York and the decline of the Bronx.Starting with the machine politics of Tam Joe Flood is perhaps the best possible name for the author of a book called The Fires Or,completely, The Fires How a Computer Formula, Big Ideas, and the Best of Intentions Burned Down New York City and Determined the Future of Cities That title is a mouthful, but accurately reflects the amazing and diverse subtopics that Flood effortlessly moves back and forth across in explaining the rash of fires in 1970s New York and the decline of the Bronx.Starting with the machine politics of Tammany Hall and the various city departments resistance to reform, Flood traces the ascent of Fire Chief John O Hagan, a unbelievably intelligent, young reformer in the FDNY with ideas of quantitative analysis in his head Flood explores...


  4. Rob Kitchin Rob Kitchin says:

    In The Fires Joe Flood seeks to explain what led to what the NYFD called The War Years 1968 1977 when large swathes of The Bronx and other areas were devastated by extensive fires This is no easy task given the complex web of factors at play including the battles between Tammany political culture and reform agendas, the long run consequences of city planning policy, changes to the city s economic fortunes, social change and upheaval, and tussles within the fire service as it sought to moder In The Fires Joe Flood seeks to explain what led to what the NYFD called The War Years 1968 1977 when large swathes of The Bronx and other areas were devastated by extensive fires This is no easy task given the complex web of factors at play including the battles between Tammany political culture and reform agendas, the long run consequences of city planning policy, changes to the city s economic fortunes, social change and upheaval, and tussles within the fire service as it sought to modernize and change organisational structures and working practices, drawing extensively on the systems op analysis of RAND...


  5. Erhardt Graeff Erhardt Graeff says:

    Joe Flood writes a solid history of the twentieth century city planning through the lens of The War Years fires that burned out large swathes of the poorest parts of New York City It s well researched and hangs together nicely He cribs a good bit from Robert Caro s massive biography of planner Robert Moses, and some of his points get repetitive disrupting the otherwise nicely narrativized of history and analysis that Flood puts to paper Students of cities and planning and of power politics wi Joe Flo...


  6. Benjamin Benjamin says:

    This story of how a bunch of know it all nerds juggled some numbers and burned down the best parts of NYC filled me with rage Flood a Bronx native tries for an evenhanded, no bad guys approach, but when there are overtly racist motivations at work he doesn t shy away from describing them Although he is trying to simply be critical of certain approaches to governance and avoid conspiracy theory weirdness, I was left thinking that a bunch of bad people orchestrated a decades long ethnic cl This story of how a bunch of know it all nerds juggled some numbers and burned down the best parts of NYC filled me with rage Flood a Bronx native tries for an evenhanded, no bad guys approach, but when there are overtly racist motivations at work he doesn t shy away from describing them Although he is trying to simply be critical of certain approaches to governance and avoid conspiracy theory weirdness, I was left thinking that a bunch of bad people orchestrated a decades long ethnic cleansing program in my grandparents neighborhood Flood uses the oxymoron free market a little too often for me, but his general point feels right that systems that gather knowledge and solutions from the bottom up and with an entrepreneurial s...


  7. Frank Stein Frank Stein says:

    Another book about the Mayor Lindsay administration with a reference to Good Intentions in its title In my review of Morris Cohen s book, The Cost of Good Intentions, I mentioned that one of the few successes Cohen attributed to the Lindsay administration was its revamping of the fire department under the influence of RAND studies Considering that significant parts of New York burned to the ground in the 1970s, Cohen probably should have been careful to play up even that claim In this boo Another book about the Mayor Lindsay administration with a reference to Good Intentions in its title In my review of Morris Cohen s book, The Cost of Good Intentions, I mentioned that one of the few successes Cohen attributed to the Lindsay administration was its revamping of the fire department under the influence of RAND studies Considering that significant parts of New York burned to the ground in the 1970s, Cohen probably should have been careful to play up even that claim In this book Joe Flood investigates the RAND influenced fire station closing policy implemented under Fire Chief and Commissioner John O Hagen that clearly exacerbated the fires of that decade Flood begins with a largely complimentary picture of O Hagen, pointing to him as the origin of much contemporary fire fighting technology under his leadership, the NYFD was the first to use telescoping tower ladders that extended both up and over burning buildings, the first to use early jaws of life steel cutters to save...


  8. Greg Stoll Greg Stoll says:

    This was a pretty interesting book I didn t realize that New York City had a huge fire problem in the 70 s, and at first the book provided a lot of background about the mayor, the fire chief, etc to the point where it got to be a bit much But then the author did a great job of laying out how the problem started and got worse through a series of bad decisions The main theme is that it was mostly the fault of a technocratic City Hall, for example Robert Moses the city planner had a lot of This was a pretty interesting book I didn t realize that New York City had a huge fire problem in the 70 s, and at first the book provided a lot of background about the mayor, the fire chief, etc to the point where it got to be a bit much But then the author did a great job of laying out how the problem started and got worse through a series of bad decisions The main theme is that it was mostly the fault of a technocratic City Hall, for example Robert Moses the city planner had a lot of power to impose a top down vision for what the city should be like, and used it to destroy a bunch of housing and industrial buildings to build highways, parks, and office towers This included slum clearance w...


  9. T. T. says:

    U.S government research and development computer modeling spun off as the RAND Corporation think tank drives military prowess and Robert McNamara s Vietnam War, then intervenes at Ford Motor Co., and on those successes ends up promulgating changes in the city government of New York with the fire department as a test case.Except the changes rammed through city hall subverted the common sense intelligence of those on the front lines specifically, the firemen and NYC s most progressive U.S government research and development computer modeling spun off as the RAND Corporation think tank drives military prowess and Robert McNamara s Vietnam War, then intervenes at Ford Motor Co., and on those successes ends up promulgating changes in the city government of New York with the fire department as a test case.Except the changes rammed through city hall subverted the common sense intelligence of those on the front lines specifically, the firemen and NYC s most progressive commissioner chief, John O Hagan and helped devolve the arguably greatest city in the world into a disintegrating, dangerous, fire ravaged, feared city in crisis that was nearly lost to myopic bureaucracy.In this well researched, rich in details book by the young and wonderfully talented Joe Flood , a post war history is revealed of a city struggling through financial bungles, political game...


  10. Michael Michael says:

    It turns out the key word in the title is How What I thought might be a book about the fires themselves ended up an amazing explication of the political and policy machinations that led to the burning of the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan in the late 60s and 70s Flood does athan admirable job making the point that root approach governance in brief, making systematic changes based on statistical analysis to help government becomeefficient was a failure in New York, along the It turns out the key word in the title is How What I thought might be a book about the fires themselves ended up an amazing explication of the political and policy machinations that led to the burning of the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan in the late 60s and 70s Flood does athan admirable job makin...