Book details Brattleboro’s bad year

Interviews document 2011’s fire, flood, and homicides

BRATTLEBORO — Marked by a five-alarm fire downtown, a murder at the local food co-op, and flooding from Tropical Storm Irene, 2011 was not a year Brattleboro residents will soon forget. And as Dave Eisenstader describes in his new book, 2011 also revealed Brattleboro at its best.

Embattled Brattleboro: How a Vermont Town Endured a Year of Fire, Murder and Hurricane Irene is packed with photos and interviews with women and men who had a front row seat at the disasters, including firemen who risked their lives fighting the all-night fire, employees at the Brattleboro Food Co-op who had to deal with the sudden loss of their manager, and the merchants along Flat Street who lost jobs and millions of dollars in merchandise to the flood waters.

Local author Archer Mayor calls the book “eloquently written, exhaustively researched, a paean to endurance, perseverance and community spirit.”

Eisenstader, a reporter for the Dedham Transcript in Massachusetts, has worked for newspapers in Peterborough and Keene, N.H. His previous book, The Weight of the Ice, about the massive Northeast ice storm of 2008, is also available from Surry Cottage Books.

Embattled Brattleboro is available in all local book stores, via and from the publisher's website,

Eisenstader is scheduled to sign books during Gallery Walk in Brattleboro, Friday, Dec. 7, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in front of Amy's Bakery Cafe. On Sunday, Dec. 9, he will sign copies at Toadstool Bookshop in Keene, N.H., at 2 p.m.

Surry Cottage Books, in Keene, N.H., has been publishing books about New England and Upstate New York since 2006. This year, it published Good Night Irene: Stories and Photos about the Tropical Storm that Devastated Vermont, the Catskills, and the Berkshires.

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