In this Book

Flammable Cities
summary

In most cities today, fire has been reduced to a sporadic and isolated threat. But throughout history the constant risk of fire has left a deep and lasting imprint on almost every dimension of urban society. This volume, the first truly global study of urban conflagration, shows how fire has shaped cities throughout the modern world, from Europe to the imperial colonies, major trade entrepôts, and non-European capitals, right up to such present-day megacities as Lagos and Jakarta. Urban fire may hinder commerce or even spur it; it may break down or reinforce barriers of race, class, and ethnicity; it may serve as a pretext for state violence or provide an opportunity for displays of state benevolence. As this volume demonstrates, the many and varied attempts to master, marginalize, or manipulate fire can turn a natural and human hazard into a highly useful social and political tool.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. iii-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-vii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 3-20
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  1. Part 1: Cities as Fire Regimes
  2. pp. 21-21
  1. 1. Jan van der Heyden and the Origins of Modern Firefighting: Art and Technology in Seventeenth-Century Amsterdam
  2. pp. 23-43
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  1. 2. Governance, Arson, and Firefighting in Edo, 1600–1868
  2. pp. 44-62
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  1. 3. Taming Fire in Valparaíso, Chile, 1840s–1870s
  2. pp. 63-81
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  1. 4. The Burning of a Modern City? Istanbul as Perceived by the Agents of the Sun Fire Office, 1865–1870
  2. pp. 82-102
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  1. 5. Imperial Russia’s Urban Fire Regimes, 1700–1905
  2. pp. 103-125
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  1. 6. Fighting Fires (or Not) in Porfirian Mexico
  2. pp. 126-143
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  1. Part 2: Fire as Risk and as a Catalyst if Change
  2. pp. 145-145
  1. 7. The Great Fire of Lisbon, 1755
  2. pp. 147-169
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  1. 8. A Tale of Two Cities: The Pyro-Seismic Morphology of Nineteenth-Century Manila
  2. pp. 170-189
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  1. 9. Fire and Urban Morphogenesis: Patterns of Destruction and Reconstruction in Nineteenth-Century Montreal
  2. pp. 190-211
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  1. 10. The Great Fire of Hamburg, 1842: From Catastrophe to Reform
  2. pp. 212-234
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  1. 11. Did the Fire Insurance Industry Help Reduce Urban Firesin the United States in the Nineteenth Century?
  2. pp. 235-253
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  1. 12. Inflaming the Fears of Theatergoers: How Fires Shaped the Public Sphere in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1880–1910
  2. pp. 254-272
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  1. 13. Points of Origin: The Social Impact of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire
  2. pp. 273-292
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  1. Part 3: The Politics of Fire
  2. pp. 293-293
  1. 14. The Politics of Singapore’s Fire Narrative
  2. pp. 295-313
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  1. 15. The Beirut Central District on Fire: Firefighting in a Divided City with Shifting Front Lines, 1975–1976
  2. pp. 314-331
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  1. 16. Who Burned Cleveland, Ohio? The Forgotten Fires of the 1970s
  2. pp. 332-352
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  1. 17. “There Is More to This Fire Than Meets the Eye”: Anatomy of Fire Outbreaks in Lagos, Nigeria, 1980–2008
  2. pp. 353-371
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  1. 18. Fires, Urban Environments, and Politics in Contemporary Jakarta
  2. pp. 372-398
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  1. Afterword: Fire on the Fringe
  2. pp. 390-396
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 397-400
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 401-409
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  1. Back Cover
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