Young Men and Fire: Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Edition (Paperback)
In 1949, twelve men died fighting a forest fire in Monatana. Today few people remember the Mann Gulch tragedy, but Norman MacLean never forgot about it, and forty years later he wrote this amazing book about it. Part memorial to lives lost and forgotten, part inquiry into memory itself; one of my very favorite books.
--Caitlin— From Caitlin L. Staff Picks
A devastating and lyrical work of nonfiction, Young Men and Fire describes the events of August 5, 1949, when a crew of fifteen of the US Forest Service's elite airborne firefighters, the Smokejumpers, stepped into the sky above a remote forest fire in the Montana wilderness. Two hours after their jump, all but three of the men were dead or mortally burned. Haunted by these deaths for forty years, Norman Maclean puts together the scattered pieces of the Mann Gulch tragedy in Young Men and Fire, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award. Alongside Maclean's now-canonical A River Runs through It and Other Stories, Young Men and Fire is recognized today as a classic of the American West. This twenty-fifth anniversary edition of Maclean's later triumph--the last book he would write--includes a powerful new foreword by Timothy Egan, author of The Big Burn and The Worst Hard Time. As moving and profound as when it was first published, Young Men and Fire honors the literary legacy of a man who gave voice to an essential corner of the American soul.
About the Author
Norman Maclean (1902-90), woodsman, scholar, teacher, and storyteller, grew up in and around Missoula, Montana, and worked for many years in logging camps and for the United States Forest Service before beginning his academic career. He was the William Rainey Harper Professor of English at the University of Chicago until 1973.