Thanks to my sister for letting me borrow this. And yes you would have enjoyed it had it not been required reading for school.
About the Book
On Christmas Eve 1913, more than six dozen people were crushed to death as they scrambled to flee the Italian Hall in Calumet, Mich. Someone had cried "Fire" at the top of the stairs that led to the meeting hall on the building's second floor. There was no fire. The entire event was over in a flash, but the tragedy would scar the psyche of the region for decades. Was the call of "fire" a tragic error or a calculated action designed to cause chaos?
In Death's Door: The Truth Behind Michigan's Largest Mass Murder, author and attorney Steve Lehto wades through the conflicting news reports, transcripts, and other documentation to set the record straight.
For more information about this book please visit Momentum Books' website.
This was a pretty interesting story. Having lived in Michigan my entire life I was surprised that I'd never heard of this incident before. It seems that with all the lore surrounding these murders that it would still be something that people would bring up, at least occasionally.
Since I've never heard of the incident at the Italian Hall before I do not know how well the information presented in this book meshes with popular opinion. However, Lehto does mentions many times where his findings do not support popular belief.
The book was very informational and I think it was fairly unbiased. However the only complaint I have is that once I got towards the end of the book I felt like I was just rereading the same information over and over again. It became somewhat monotonous. But it was still interesting, and I liked that it gave quite a bit of the back story to the Italian Hall Tragedy. I felt that having the back story gave the tragedy a bit more depth than if the book had just covered what happened the day of the tragedy.
While this was interesting I wouldn't say it read like fiction. For you to enjoy this one I think you'd really have to be interested in real-life stories. There were a lot of facts in the book, things that you wouldn't normally see in a fiction book. But overall I have to say it was worth the read.
Death's Door: The Truth Behind Michigan's Largest Mass Murder