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Short Synopsis
Written by journalists David Cowan and John Kuenster, To Sleep with the Angels tells the story of one of the deadliest fires in American history.

Full Synopsis
If burying a child has a special poignancy, the tragedy at a Catholic elementary school in Chicago almost fifty years ago was an extraordinary moment of grief. One of the deadliest fires in American history, it took the lives of ninety-two children and three nuns at Our Lady of the Angels School, left many families physically and psychologically scarred for life, and destroyed a close-knit working-class neighborhood. This is the moving story of that fire and its consequences, written by two journalists who have been obsessed with the events of that terrible day in December 1958. It is a story of ordinary people caught up in a disaster that shocked the nation. In gripping detail, those who were there—children, teachers, firefighters—describe the fear, desperation, and panic that prevailed in and around the stricken school building on that cold Monday afternoon. But beyond the flames, the story of the fire at Our Lady of the Angels became an enigma whose mystery has deepened with time: its cause was never officially explained despite evidence that it had been intentionally set by a troubled student at the school.

"Detailed reporting and straightforward writing . . . an absorbing account." ---New York Times

"This deeply affecting account of that tragedy by two Illinois journalists recreates the horror that destroyed a school and parish." ---Publishers Weekly

"[A] riveting chronicle . . . Graphic descriptions of how the fire spread and was finally quelled are coupled with heroic rescues and tragic deaths." ---Booklist

"A gripping story . . . Cowan and Kuenster piece together a moving narrative based on the eyewitness accounts of surviving children, parents, firemen, doctors, nurses, and arson investigators." ---Library Journal

To Sleep with the Angels

The Story of a Fire

Author David Cowan, John Kuenster

Narrated by Sean Runnette

Publication date Mar 14, 2017

Running time 12 hrs

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