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Synopsis

A revealing account of the first time computer modeling met City Hall -- and the disaster that ensued

In 1968, New York City struck a deal with the RAND Corporation to use their computer models to establish more efficient public services and save millions of dollars, beginning their first civilian effort with the FDNY. Over the next decade a series of fires swept through New York, displacing more than 600,000 people, all thanks to the intentional withdrawal of fire protection from the city's poorest neighborhoods -- and all based on RAND's computer modeling systems.

In The Fires, journalist Joe Flood provides an X-ray of the inner workings of New York City in the 1970s and of all modern cities, using the dramatic story of a pair of mayors, an ambitious Fire Commissioner, and an even more ambitious think tank to illuminate the patterns and formulas that are now inextricably woven into the very fabric of the modern urban experience.

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