At the beginning of the twentieth century, factory owners treated their workers with little regard. They paid meagerly, demanded long hours without breaks, and took little care for the safety of their employees. In crowded New York City, this was especially true. However, the poor in the city were relieved to simply have a job, so they were in no position to complain about how they were treated. Apart from a few strikes, workers generally accepted their lot, ignoring their unsafe environments. In 1911, a fire broke out in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, a clothing company located in the top floors of a New York high rise. The fire spread fast, and soon the factory's workers, mostly immigrant women, faced death by fire, and their only way out was through the windows, some ten stories off the ground. Through heroic efforts, some were saved. Many were not. The tragedy of the fire resonated throughout all of New York City, alerting people to the horrible conditions of workers. Activists and reformers took the fire as a sign that things must change, and the aftermath of the tragedy changed the face of American industry. Book jacket.