Rescue Men (Hardcover)

By Charles C. Kenney

PublicAffairs, 9781586483104, 352pp.

Publication Date: January 1, 2007



The men in Charles Kenney's family have been drawn to firefighting since his grandfather Charles "Pops" Kenney joined the Boston Fire Department in 1932. In his working class, Irish-Catholic neighborhood, there were other jobs that offered a decent wage, but none had the sense of belonging that comes with being a fireman, or the purity of purpose that comes with saving lives. Pops was on the scene of the notorious Cocoanut Grove fire in 1942; the author's father, "Sonny" served with distinction until an explosion blew him from a third-story window; and two of the author's brothers were "sparks" as children, amateur firefighters, whose career goals were thwarted by a court order integrating the Boston fire department and changing the rules for employment forever. One became a cop, the other a paramedic and rescue man with an elite squad sent to Ground Zero in the aftermath of the collapse of the World Trade Center. Spanning sixty years of firefighting history in America, Rescue Men captures what it's really like to be a fireman.

About the Author

Charles Kenney is an author and former journalist at The Boston Globe. He is the co-author of the nonfiction books Keep the Faith, Change the Church and the author of John F. Kennedy: The Presidential Portfolio as well as the novels The Last Man, Code of Vengeance, and The Son of John Devlin. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.