A gifted reporter--and scion of the FDNY--chronicles the amazing history of the New York City Fire Department, from the volunteers of the early 1700s to the rescue teams of September 11. On September 11, 2001, the courage and sacrifice of the New York City Fire Department inspired the nation, giving new meaning to the word hero. But the heroism of the firefighters was not unique to September 11--it has been part of the FDNY's tradition from the very beginning. Journalist Terry Golway, whose father, father-in-law, godfather, and uncles were all New York firefighters, tells as no one else could the story of the men and women, tragedies and triumphs of the FDNY throughout its history. From the original eighteenth-century volunteer force to the New York Firefighter unit in the Union Army, from the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire to the arson epidemic of the 1970s, to contemporary issues of diversity and efficiency, Golway's history holds up a mirror for firefighters throughout the U. S. In this first comprehensive chronicle of the FDNY in over sixty years, Golway weaves together stories of heroic firefighters and extraordinary fires to create a moving and original history of the city and the vocation as seen through the eyes of New York's Bravest. From America's most ambitious public-works project of the 1700s--the building of aqueducts from upstate to help control fires--to firefighter-turned-politician Boss Tweed's backroom politics, fire and firefighters have always been an integral part of the history of the city. Lively, gut-wrenching, and ultimately inspiring, So Others Might Live offers a new view of the building of American cities and the people who made them great. As a tribute to the firefighters of New York, Basic Books will donate a portion of its proceeds from the sale of So Others Might Live to the New York Firefighters 911 Disaster Relief Fund.