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Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning is a book by Jonathan Mahler that focuses on the year 1977 in New York City. It is ‘a layered account’, ‘kaleidoscopic’, ‘a braided narrative’, that weaves political, cultural, and sporting threads into one narrative. It was first published in 2006, and was the basis for the television drama The Bronx Is Burning. Part of the phrase surfaced in television media in 1972 as the title of an episode from the Man Alive documentary series co-produced by BBC Television and Time-Life Films.
Entitled The Bronx Is Burning, the hour-long episode shadowed Engine Company 82 and Ladder Company 31 as they operated throughout the Bronx, chronicling the impact of austerity upon fire safety services in the borough. It was five years later in this same borough that Game 2 of the 1977 World Series was played on October 12th at Yankee Stadium. ABC cameras covering the game cut to a helicopter shot of the surrounding neighborhood where a large fire was shown raging out of control in Public School 3, a building occupying the block bordered by Melrose and Courtlandt Avenues and 157th and 158th Streets. Jackson: “That is a live picture, obviously a major fire in a large building in the south Bronx region of New York City.
That’s a live picture, and obviously the fire department in the Bronx have there, a problem. My goodness, that’s a huge blaze.
Cosell: “That’s the very area where President Carter trod just a few days ago. Cosell: “That’s a live shot again, of that fire in the south Bronx that Keith called to your attention just a few moments ago.