This is an extraordinary book. A great mix of photos and text, which includes not only bios of some of the famous truck lines, but information on technological progressions in fire fighting, and how this impacted the work of the individual fire fighter. Unless it's an action shot of an actual fire, with smoke and flames, each photo is taken on a beautiful, sunny day, on which each truck is also immaculate. This is a lot like each of our categorical memories of these trucks from earliest youth. There's just some kind of intense coolness factor that surrounds fire trucks, even as they became boxier and more industrial looking, especially after governmental rules were changed to require all personnel to ride inside, no longer allowed to cling to the back or ride on the running boards.
For years I kept this book in the lobby of our firm, and everyone loved it. Especially the fire dept. inspectors making their rounds to see if our fire extinguishers were at the proper height on the walls, and our "Exit" signs illuminated. Seeing them fixated on this book suggested that they'd rather be riding in the wind, with one of those emblematic Dalmations, then writing me up for having too many extension cords snaking back to a single outlet.
So why only 4 stars? Because the author missed including any W.S. Darley fire trucks, made right here in Illinois without interruption for almost 100 years. Add a Darley, and I give it 5 stars.