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Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11

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Years in the making, this spellbinding, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting narrative is an unforgettable portrait of 9/11.

This is a 9/11 book like no other. Masterfully weaving together multiple strands of the events in New York; at the Pentagon; and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, Fall and Rise is a mesmerizing, minute-by-minute account of that terrible day.

In the days and months after 9/11, Mitchell Zuckoff, then a reporter for the Boston Globe, wrote about the attacks, the victims, and their families. After additional years of meticulous reporting, Zuckoff has filled Fall and Rise with voices of the lost and the saved. The result is an utterly gripping book filled with intimate stories of people most affected by the events of that sunny Tuesday in September: an out-of-work actor stuck in an elevator in the North Tower of the World Trade Center; the heroes aboard Flight 93 deciding to take action; a veteran trapped in the inferno in the Pentagon; the fire chief among the first on the scene in sleepy Shanksville; a team of firefighters racing to save an injured woman and themselves; and the men, women, and children flying across the country who suddenly faced terrorists bent on murder.

Fall and Rise will open new avenues of understanding for everyone who thinks they know the story of 9/11, bringing to life—and in some cases, bringing back to life—the extraordinary ordinary people who experienced the worst day in modern American history.

625 pages, Kindle Edition

First published April 30, 2019

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About the author

Mitchell Zuckoff

19 books643 followers
Mitchell Zuckoff is a professor of journalism at Boston University. He is the author of the New York Times bestsellers "Fall and Rise," "13 Hours," "Lost in Shangri-La," and "Frozen in Time." His previous books are: "Robert Altman: The Oral Biography," one of Amazon.com's "Best Books of 2009"; "Ponzi's Scheme," and "Choosing Naia." He is co-author of "Judgment Ridge," which was a finalist for the Edgar Award.

Zuckoff's magazine work has appeared in The New Yorker, Fortune, and other national and regional publications. He is a former special projects reporter for The Boston Globe, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for investigative reporting as a member of the Spotlight Team. He received the Distinguished Writing Award from the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the Livingston Award for International Reporting, the Heywood Broun Award, and the Associated Press Managing Editors' Public Service Award, among other national honors. He lives outside Boston.

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Profile Image for Matt.
908 reviews28.1k followers
September 10, 2021
“Torn open, aflame, weakening from within, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center spewed paper like blood from an arterial wound. Legal documents and employee reviews. Pay stubs, birthday cards, takeout menus. Timesheets and blueprints, photographs and calendars, crayon drawings and love notes. Some in full, some in tatters, some in flames. A single scrap from the South Tower, tossed like a bottled message from a sinking ship, captured the day’s horror. In a scrawled hand, next to a bloody fingerprint, the note read:

84th Floor
west office
12 People trapped

After the paper came the people. After the people came the buildings. After the buildings came the wars…”

- Mitchell Zuckoff, Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11

Historians and writers trying to sell books are quick to say this event or another “changed the world.” It is usually a hyperbolic claim. But with regards to September 11, 2001, it is a literal truth. The concerted, four-pronged terrorist attack was a world historical occurrence.

On September 10, we were on a certain pathway, our national concerns relatively quotidian: sifting through the digital detritus of the dot-com bust; living with the possibility that we might be eaten by a great white (“Summer of the Shark!”); and obsessing over a missing intern in Washington, D.C.

By September 12, we had been knocked off course. The post-Cold War trajectory veered sharply, and suddenly the threats were existential: shoe bombs and dirty bombs, threat levels and executive parachutes (still on sale at Walmart…$1000 plus free shipping), and endless wars in the Middle East.

September 11 was a rare day when things really did change – changes felt by every person in the United States, no matter how far removed from New York City, Washington D.C., or Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

It has been almost eighteen years, now, and there have been some great books on the leadup to 9/11 and some great books on the aftermath. The day itself remains tricky. The best overall look is the 9/11 Commission Report, which is well-written, as far as government documents go. Close behind is Jim Dwyer’s and Kevin Flynn’s 102 Minutes, which focuses solely on the battle for survival within the World Trade Center towers.

A book dedicated solely to September 11 itself is difficult, because it has to find a balance between the objectivity required of history, and the reality that the day is an impossibly-emotional mosaic of heart-wrenching stories.

Mitchell Zuckoff’s Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11 has one advantage over every book that has come before: distance. In the early days after the attacks, everything was too raw, “too soon.” Now, we are closing in on two decades since the skies cleared and the towers dropped and we all felt intensely vulnerable. That perspective is a historian’s gift. Nevertheless, it is not much in evidence here. The fact that Fall and Rise ultimately feels less like history and more like belated catharsis is probably unavoidable. However it is classified, it is an enormously powerful book.

Fall and Rise is divided into three sections. The first takes place in the sky, giving us a chronological account of events in all four hijacked airplanes. The second is a chronological account of events on the ground, which includes the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and recovery efforts in Shanksville. The third section, barely more than a glorified epilogue, is dedicated to catching up with some of the featured subjects. It’s not very long, which is good, because you will be crying through most of it.

Zuckoff’s structure works really well. Obviously, events on 9/11 did not unfold as neatly as they are presented here. But in focusing on the planes first, and the ground second, Zuckoff manages to avoid the unnecessary confusion that would have been created by cross-cutting between plane and ground, and between New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, all at once. Importantly, throughout the book, Zuckoff is constantly orienting you to time and place. When he describes events on United 93, for instance, he will reference what is happening elsewhere, to put it in context.

(There is also a timeline. Alas, there are no pictures, which is always infuriating when you’re talking about people who are not immediately recognizable public figures).

The narrative is diligently shorn of politics and – for the most part – politicians. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are hardly mentioned and there is only minimal discussion of pre-9/11 intelligence failures. Instead, this is a people’s history, and we follow flight attendants and passengers; bond traders and firemen; a businessman on his way to an important meeting and a newly-frocked priest suddenly tasked with giving last rites.

To his credit, Zuckoff is not attempting to sell Fall and Rise by giving us the “untold story.” Rather, many of the individuals featured in these pages, who get the bulk of the page-time, are men and women who have achieved a level of fame since the attacks. For example, Brian Clark and Stanley Praimnath, the mismatched buddy-comedy duo who marched down Stairwell A of the South Tower together, have been documentary staples since the smoke first cleared.

Zuckoff, however, has not sat back on his haunches and simply scoured secondary sources to repeat old tales. He has, to the contrary, made a very real effort to re-interview participants and family members of the lost, in order to verify and corroborate. I tend to discount the utility of interviews long after events – memory being what it is – but it can’t be said that Zuckoff did not put forth an effort. I am not entirely sure why he spent more time with some people at the expense of others, but I assume it has something to do with his ability to conduct his own interviews.

(On the topic of research materials, it should be noted that the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui placed a lot of heretofore unseen evidence into the public eye. Names were put onto redacted 9-1-1 calls. Survivors and their families gave sworn testimony. The CVR of United 93 was revealed in its stomach-clenching horror. Zuckoff makes full use of these resources).

As I noted above, distance from the attacks has allowed us to see some things more clearly. Some of the best parts of Fall and Rise are when Zuckoff uses this to make clear-eyed observations about how the attack unfolded. One example is during the section on the planes, when he uses the timing of the four separate hijackings to highlight the systemic failure to clearly warn other planes in the sky of the danger. Zuckoff also notes the communications mishaps of the fire department, sending men into buildings that could not be saved, needlessly adding to the death toll. (Still, I would say that Dwyer and Flynn do a better job of this in 102 Minutes).

One of the things that really stands out in Zuckoff’s telling is the absolute insanity of not immediately evacuating the South Tower once the North Tower was struck. The idea that people would go back to work – back to work! – while countless humans burned to death just a few hundred feet away, right outside their windows, is flabbergasting. I mean, I get that we’re in the heart of capitalism, but come on. This, along with unfortunate instructions given by many emergency dispatchers to shelter in place, added names to the casualty list that did not need to be there.

The September 11 attacks are often likened to Pearl Harbor. But this was not Pearl Harbor. At the end of the day, the Japanese strike on December 7, 1941, was a military attack on a military installation. The men at the receiving end were sailors and soldiers who had the capability, after a fashion, to fight back. Most of the men and women caught up in 9/11 were taken out at work, in their offices, often before the first cup of coffee. The majority of the casualties – from the four planes and the North Tower – were dead from the moment the attacks started to unfold. They were caught miles in the air or trapped above the impact zone, as impossible to save as if they were on the moon. It puts one in mind of a shipwreck when all the lifeboats are gone – except that the victims on the Titanic did not have telephones.

There is an essential horror to 9/11 that is missing from Pearl Harbor. It is a nightmare scenario that combines the two worst forms of death: falls and fire. It is ghoulish to say, but it makes the prospect of hypothermia on a flat-calm night on the North Atlantic seem like a blessing. For those who survived the initial onslaught, technology allowed many to essentially live-stream their own deaths, their final moments – like those of Kevin Cosgrove, whose last call was played at the Moussaoui trial – caught on 9-1-1 tapes.

If Fall and Rise has any fault, it is that it sometimes veers into mawkishness. At points, Zuckoff will start listing victims’ names, pointing out what each person lost as they died. This struck me as cheap and unnecessary emotional manipulation. Mostly, though, Zuckoff understands the overwhelming power of this material, and wraps the narrative around the participants’ own words.

Near the end of their telephone call, Melissa [Doi] spelled out her mother’s name and asked if they could arrange a three-way connection. [Dispatcher] Vanessa Barnes said that wasn’t possible but promised to call Melissa’s mother. Melissa gasped for air, sensing that time was running out. She had one more request for the 9-1-1 dispatcher, a message for her mother: “Tell her,” Melissa said, halting between words, “I love her with all my heart and soul, and that she was the best mother a person could ever have.”

Melissa Doi stopped talking, but Vanessa Barnes heard breathing. It seemed as though Melissa and her companions might have passed out from smoke inhalation. Just as she promised, the dispatcher stayed on the line. She called Melissa’s name more than sixty times. As minutes passed, Vanessa Barnes stopped being an anonymous police dispatcher and became motherly. “Ma’m” and “Melissa” gave way to “dear.” Soon Vanessa Barnes began calling her “baby.”

Dispatcher Barnes: “Please don’t give up, Melissa…Oh, my God. Melissa? Melissa? Melissa? Please don’t give up, Melissa…Hold on, baby, hold on. You’re going to be fine, baby, can you hear me? You’re going to be fine, you’re going to be fine…”

Passages like this chill the blood. They take us places we do not want to go. There were times as I was reading that the world around me slipped away. It felt like I was underwater – and not necessarily in a pleasant way. When I finished a chapter, I would be surprised that the sun was shining and people were going on about their business as though it had never happened. That's how immediate this felt. I was surprised that it was not happening right now.

In the final section, composed of only one chapter, Zuckoff ties up the loose ends of the featured subjects. Life goes on, but it goes on differently and harder. The most poignant scene here involves a man named Gerry Creamer telling his son John that his wife, Tara was dead; and then John having to tell his own son his mother was gone. In just a few paragraphs, Zuckoff traces the years to come, marked by periodic discoveries of pieces of his Tara’s body. There is a potency to the spare and unforced telling of this vignette that is almost painful.

Fall and Rise is a bit uncertain about what kind of book it aims to be: whether it is an objective interpretation of events or a dirge for the loved and lost. The former relies on the gift of passing years to present a coherent progression of events. The latter relies on emotion and bears a resemblance to many of the testimonials that followed in 9/11’s wake.

Ultimately, Fall and Rise is more a collection of memories than a work of traditional history. That is probably as it should be. John Creamer telling his four-year-old that his mommy was now an angel, or Vanessa Barnes listening to Melissa Doi die in a failing tower, stand outside the realm of history; these intimate scenes defy critical interpretation.

There will come a moment, many years from now, when all living memory of this day disappears, and this will all be a story that someone reads about in a book. Until that time, September 11, 2001 will resist becoming history. Instead, it will remain yesterday.
Profile Image for JanB .
1,128 reviews2,296 followers
October 8, 2019
History comes alive through the stories of those who lived it. Most of us can remember exactly where we were and what we were doing on 9/11. It’s forever burned into our memories. But my memories and the hours and hours of TV coverage didn’t prepare me for hearing the stories within these pages, stories that often brought me to tears.

There’s an entire generation who has come of age since then, a generation that has no memory of that day. Thankfully, for them, and for us, this book serves as a record of memories. The author doesn’t look into the why of 9/11 but tells us the stories of those who lived through that day, and, sadly, those that didn’t. This is a unique and intimate perspective that is often difficult to read, but it’s important that we do so, so we never forget.

The narrative begins the night of Sept 10, an ordinary day, the last ordinary day for all of them. The individual stories of the passengers, the crew, the people who worked in the towers, the residents of Shanksville, PA, the Pentagon staff, as well as the first responders are told within these pages.

This is narrative non-fiction at it’s best and the suspense builds because, although we know the fate of the airplane passengers and crew, we don’t learn the fate of all the others until the story unfolds. The result is a vivid account of history, putting human faces and personal stories to a tragedy before it simply becomes an event relegated to the history books.

A powerful must read. I highly recommend the audio. It’s riveting.
Profile Image for Brandice.
824 reviews
November 27, 2019
Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11 is hands down the hardest book I’ve ever read — It absolutely gutted me, the whole way through.

I was in 9th grade on 9/11 - Old enough to understand what happened, but young enough to not truly comprehend the depth and magnitude of the day, or how it would shape the world. More than half my life has now occurred in post 9/11 America.

I cannot imagine the sheer fright and terror the innocent passengers experienced, knowing they were leaving families and their lives behind, the agony and immeasurable loss their families have endured, the pain and life altering results of the survivors of the Twin Towers and at the Pentagon.

”Dozens of children would grow up without a mother or a father, an aunt or uncle, a grandmother or grandfather. Parents would grow old without a daughter or a son; husbands, wives, and partners would be forced to carry on alone. Grief would grip untold families, friends, colleagues, and strangers, wounded by the deaths of seventy-six passengers and eleven crew members, all murdered by five al-Qaeda hijackers aboard American Airlines Flight 11.”

Fall and Rise is so well-written and I truly applaud the care Mitchell Zuckoff took to share the stories of the victims, their families, and some of the survivors, including brave FDNY and civilian heroes. It feels incredibly unfair to say this was difficult to read, considering how trivial it is by comparison to what so many people have been through as a result of this terrible tragedy. My review couldn’t do this book justice but it’s an important, powerful read, and a wonderful written tribute to the 2,977 Americans who died that day.
Profile Image for Paul Bryant.
2,179 reviews9,236 followers
June 10, 2019
This is the story of everyone being overwhelmed, there was no coping with it at all, massive attacks on massive buildings, nothing remotely like it before or since. And the reader can get overwhelmed too. The story of the day is so dramatic, so relentlessly riveting, even now, after its million retellings. Mr Zuckoff decided to tell it in a way he believes humanizes the awfulness. I could see why he would do it this way. I hate to criticize this book.


This book is not in the conspiracy debunking business – those clowns get a passing mention:

I have not included unfounded allegations or pseudoscience from the cottage industry of 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Facts are stubborn and powerful : this is a true story.

But less pleasingly, this book is not in the why business – for any insight into the hijackers’ motivations you have to look elsewhere. This means that 9/11 is presented without context. But everything has a context. Even God has a context. Yes, the planes literally and metaphorically came out of a clear blue sky. But the hijackers and their political enablers didn’t. These were not random events. There was a chain of causation stretching back decades. Mr Zuckoff can be forgiven for drawing a line and refusing to get into the geopoliticoreligious complexities of the thing – it would have make his book 500 pages longer. But 9/11 presented without any context at all is dangerous. It encourages oversimplification : "They hate us for our freedom" and that kind of thing.


Out of such a vortex of horror and misery the author plucks many stories of heroism, self-sacrifice and stubborn ingrained kindness that he hopes will keep the reader from lapsing into numbed despair, in the same way that the story of the fourth plane, United 93, was seized upon. But there is a price to pay for doing it this way. He follows in detail the stories of about 40 people. These are real people, real stories. Alas that Mr Zuckoff writes about them as if they belong in a bad romance novel :

Fifty years old, six feet tall and country boy handsome… his smile etched deep crinkles in the ruddy skin around his blue eyes.

Jerry was a few months shy of sixty-five, but he looked a decade younger : square-jawed and graying at the temples, trim enough to fit into the commander’s uniform he’d hung up more than two decades earlier.

Forty-seven years old, with kind eyes and three grown sons, Linda loved the smell of clothes freshly dried by the crisp Allegheny mountain air.

Everyone gets this treatment. So that’s one thing. And then, there are horrible lurches of tone. I’m still not sure if this is a deliberate effect. But for example, on page 256 we read

Other firefighters stepped over piles of debris in the lobby that they only later realized were human remains.

A few lines later, on the same page :

When Gerry wasn’t saving lives in New York City, he raised pigs, goats and chickens with his wife and two young sons on a small farm

The clash of horror and banality is just… disorientating, peculiar…jarring. I don’t like it. And it keeps coming up. Here’s another example :

Port Authority Police Officer David Lim… turned to his bomb-sniffing dog, a yellow Labrador called Sirius that Dave considered the smartest dog he’d ever known. “Maybe they got one by us, Sirius,” Dave told his partner, who moonlighted as the pet of Dave, his wife and their two children. [Dave runs towards the North Tower].. On the way he spotted a body next to a bandstand… As he radioed a report to dispatch, another person landed fifty feet from him on the plaza’s pink granite. On impact, the body disintegrated into a puddle of flesh, bone and blood.

The coziness of Sirius who “moonlights” as the family pet jammed right next to the unrecognisable human remains… I don’t know.

I’ve read a few 9/11 books by now and they all have problems. I hoped this one would be The Great One but for me it isn’t. What it does do very well is fill in a lot of detail I wasn’t aware of, especially regarding the Pentagon crash and United 93. And he frequently throws in some stunning facts :

At 9.11 AM, twenty-five minutes after American Flight 11 hit the North Tower, eight minutes after United Flight 175 hit the South Tower, some Port Authority Police dispatchers inexplicably continued to tell worried callers not to evacuate.

And this gave me a jolt – talking about the crash of United 93 near Shanksville, Pennsylvania – when the firefighters arrived at the crash site they found

No matter how big it [the plane] was, they had only small fires to fight and no one to rescue.

What a chilling statement.

MORE 9/11

Film :

Avoid the awful movie World Trade Center and instead watch Paul Greengrass’s excellent United 93

The essential documentary 102 Minutes that Changed America is on youtube

Books :

Perfect Soldiers : The 9/11 Hijackers – Who Were They, Why They Did It by Terry McDermott

The Looming Tower : Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright

- Yes, I wanted political context and in these two books I got too much of it – too much overwhelming detail, I couldn’t see the wood for the trees

The best book so far that I’ve come across is

The Eleventh Day by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan
- This is great for demolishing the Truthers and generally excellent all round
Profile Image for Melanie.
268 reviews130 followers
December 20, 2022
This book was devastating for me to listen to. I had in no way forgotten the horror of that day but listening to this retelling in the words of people who had experienced it firsthand was an important reminder. I have been to the museum in Manhatten and it leaves you speechless and emotionally exhausted.

The author states in the beginning of the book that there is an entire generation of young adults who were not alive on September 11, 2001 and yet for me it seems like it didn't happen that long ago because I vividly remember that morning. Now I understand when people older than myself remember exactly what they were doing when Kennedy was assassinated.
Profile Image for Susan.
2,602 reviews599 followers
May 8, 2019
This is a difficult read, but a detailed and comprehensive account of the events of that day. Indeed, author Mitchell Zuckoff, is clear that his book concentrates mainly on the events of the day itself, although this obviously does involve some background information.

I have read other books about 9/11 and one of the most moving was, “102 Minutes,” but Zuckoff covers the entire day in this volume; giving far more details about the plane hi-jackings than I have read before, as well as events at the Pentagon, alongside the Twin Towers.

Of course, there is nothing much you can say about this book. The acts of heroism are humbling, the personal stories heart-breaking, the events still so shocking that they rush you right back to that time, when the world watched, and mourned. I visited New York shortly after 9/11 and recall how the New Yorkers who, understandably, could have retreated, were so welcoming – indeed, I was thanked, more than once, for visiting the city.

Anyone who lives in a big city – whether New York, Paris or, as I do, London, understand that city mentality. Each city is different and yet similar in mindset. The people you will meet in the pages of this book are special and you will be saddened, but also you will be inspired and you may just appreciate your daily life a little more…
September 11, 2022
Książka Mitchella Zuckoffa to iście amerykański reportaż, napisany z wielkim rozmachem. Nie poznajemy tutaj przyczyn politycznych i ideologicznych konfliktu, autor rownież nie podejmuje kwestii późniejszej „wojny z terroryzmem” — to wyłącznie 11 września, od początku do końca. Zuckoff skupia się tutaj na jednostkach — poznajemy tych ludzi, jesteśmy z nimi aż do momentu śmierci lub ocalenia, a przez całą książkę towarzyszy nam nadzieja, że może jednak czeka nas inne zakończenie niż to, które wszyscy znamy. Podczas czytania niejednokrotnie zdarzało mi się googlować nazwiska pracowników World Trade Center, żeby sprawdzić, czy udało im się wyjść z tego ataku cało. Autor bardzo szanuje wszystkich, którzy w jakikolwiek sposób ucierpieli w zamachu, widać to na każdej stronie. Być może to właśnie ten szacunek i chęć oddania hołdu zmarłym sprawiła, że tak wiele osób postrzega „11 września” jako laurkę. Faktycznie, Zuckoff pięknie mówi o ofiarach i przedstawia je w samych superlatywach. I nawet jeśli prawdą jest, że autor w ten sposób manipuluje czytelnikiem, to ja dałam mu się zmanipulować z pewnego rodzaju masochistyczną przyjemnością. Zazwyczaj nie przepadam za tego typu zabiegami, ale tutaj mamy odczynienia z książką napisaną przede wszystkim na rynek amerykański, więc takie podejście do tematu mnie nie dziwi, szczególnie, że mówimy o największej narodowej tragedii ostatnich dziesięcioleci.

To nie jest idealny reportaż, ale jego wady wyjątkowo mało mi przeszkadzały. Zuckoff wybrał taki sposób opowiadania, który niesamowicie mocno ściska za serce i to uczucie zostaje z czytelnikiem jeszcze długo po odłożeniu książki. Bo przecież zawsze chodzi o ludzi.
Profile Image for marta (sezon literacki).
242 reviews1,159 followers
September 13, 2021
Minęło już dwadzieścia lat od tragicznych wydarzeń na Manhattanie, a zdaje się jakby było to ledwie wczoraj. Choć sama miałam wtedy niespełna osiem lat, czytając książkę Zuckoffa wracało do mnie wspomnienie ogromnego chaosu i dezinformacji, jakie miały miejsce tamtego wrześniowego dnia.

„Dzień, w którym zatrzymał się świat” to szczegółowa rekonstrukcja zdarzeń z 11 września. Jeśli szukacie szerszego kontekstu politycznego i źródeł zamachów na WTC, to nie tutaj. Mamy oczywiście zarys historyczny w prologu, jednak to ludzie są dla Mitchella Zuckoffa najważniejsi. Autor prowadzi nas przez ostatnie chwile życia pasażerów feralnych lotów, pracowników i odwiedzających WTC, jak i strażaków, biorących udział w akcji ratunkowej. Oddaje im hołd i sprawia, że przestają być dla czytelnika tylko anonimowymi ofiarami zamachów, a stają się ludźmi, którzy mieli swoje plany, marzenia i czekającą na nich rodzinę. Zuckoff robi to w sposób niezwykle uporządkowany, skupiając się w pierwszej części wyłącznie na lotach, w drugiej na Pentagonie oraz obu wieżach WTC, a w trzeciej podsumowuje całość skupiając się na tym, co działo się następnego dnia i lata później, gdy świat powoli podnosił się z tej tragedii. Dzięki takiemu wyraźnemu podziałowi, mam wrażenie, że każda historia otrzymała należytą ilość miejsca i nikt nie został przez autora pominięty.

Nie jest to książka bez wad. Momentami zbyt mocno stara się grać na emocjach, zupełnie niepotrzebnie, bo te są już i tak wystarczająco silne. Ale to wszystko nie ma znaczenia w świetle tego, jak potrzebny był ten reportaż by postawić wyraźną kropkę nad i tuż przed dwudziestą rocznicą zamachów. Nie czytałam wiele reportaży na temat 9/11, ale wydaje mi się, że nie ma drugiej publikacji, która w sposób tak szczegółowy i uporządkowany przedstawia nam wydarzenia tego tragicznego dnia, oddając jednocześnie należytą cześć poległym, a spychając na dalszy plan konflikty polityczne. Bo to przede wszystkim historia o ludziach właśnie.

Doskonała reporterska robota, lata pracy i zbierania materiałów, a jednocześnie przystępność tekstu sprawiają, że jest to reportaż dosłownie dla każdego. Choć przy tak dramatycznych historiach zawsze czuję się odrobinę skonfliktowana z samą sobą, bo choć wiem, że takie książki są ważne, to jednocześnie nie mogę przestać myśleć o tym, co czują bliscy ofiar, gdy ktoś kolejny raz przypomina im najgorszy dzień w ich życiu. To bez wątpienia jedna z najtrudniejszych pod względem emocjonalnym książek, jakie w życiu czytałam.
Profile Image for Ingrid.
1,182 reviews48 followers
September 18, 2021
Wat een overweldigend boek. Ik kan het niet anders dan 5 sterren geven, alleen al voor de research die hiervoor moet zijn gedaan en het op volorde zetten van alle gebeurtenissen.
Daarnaast is het zo geschreven dat je bijna zou willen roepen: mensen, ga weg, ga rennen, stap niet in dat vliegtuig. Door verschillende levens uitgebreid te belichten komt het heel dichtbij. Ik heb wel antwoord gekregen op mijn vragen rond deze ramp, een samengaan van fouten en onwetendheid. Zoveel knulligheid is bijna niet te geloven, maar wel menselijk en dat maakt het nog triester. Ik ga niet zeggen dat ik het aanraad, maar persoonlijk ben ik wel heel blij het gelezen te hebben.

What an overwhelming book. I can't give it anything other than 5 stars, just for the research that must have gone into this and putting all the events in order.
In addition, it is written in such a way that you almost want to shout: people, go away, run, don't get on that plane. By extensively illuminating different lives, it comes very close. I did get answers to my questions about this disaster, a combination of mistakes and ignorance. Such clumsiness is almost unbelievable, but human and that makes it even sadder. I'm not going to say I recommend it, but personally I'm very happy to have read it.

Profile Image for Carolyn Walsh .
1,445 reviews575 followers
June 18, 2019
This is a powerful, comprehensive account of the horrific terrorist attack on that fateful day almost 19 years ago. This may be the definitive, historical portrayal of the events of September 11, 2001. Those of us who were devastated and saddened by what they witnessed on live TV, will get a deeper understanding of events which will remain always seared into our minds. Those who were too young to comprehend or not yet born at the time should find this a book of historical importance.

Years of meticulous research and interviews by author, Mitchell Zuckoff, provide us with gripping, heart wrenching personal accounts of some victims and survivors as well as a vivid, disturbing overall picture. As a journalist and historian, he remains objective, but for the reader, it is a horrifying, moving and highly emotional experience. He writes a coherent and comprehensive description of clusters of events occurring almost simultaneously at the World Trade Centre twin towers, the Pentagon, and Shanksville Pennsylvania. We get a well written and organized portrayal of people and events in this finely structured narrative.

Through hindsight, much can be said about mistakes leading up to and during this unprecedented disaster. From the design of the Twin Towers structure, to failure to apprehend the terrorists before they boarded the planes, to lack of communication and coordination on the ground, and the fact that people were ordered to stay where they were in the buildings until it was too late for a rescue, which sadly lead to many more deaths. Of course, a threat of this nature had never occurred before in history and was not predicted. No one was prepared for an attack of this magnitude. It is also an account of amazing heroism, self-sacrifice, and the long road to recovery for those who survived, and the unbearable loss for the families of the victims. The world has changed in many ways since 911 which was a pivotal day in modern history.
Recommended for anyone interested in a good objective book detailing a most tragic day which will be long remembered.
Profile Image for David.
1,630 reviews102 followers
September 30, 2021
Years in the making, this spellbinding, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting narrative is an unforgettable portrait of 9/11. Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11 by Mitchell Zuckoff is a 9/11 book like no other. Masterfully weaving together multiple strands of the events in New York; at the Pentagon; and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, Fall and Rise is a mesmerizing, minute-by-minute account of that terrible day. The author has meticulously written about the attacks, the victims, and their families. He has filled Fall and Rise with voices of the lost and the saved resulting in an utterly gripping book filled with intimate stories of people most affected by the events of that sunny Tuesday in September: the men, women, and children flying across the country who suddenly faced terrorists bent on murder. Fall and Rise will open new avenues of understanding for everyone who thinks they know the story of 9/11, bringing to life—and in some cases, bringing back to life—the extraordinary ordinary people who experienced the worst day in modern American history. Unlike many other books I've read about 9/11, this one makes it personal on many levels.
Profile Image for Dax.
231 reviews107 followers
October 18, 2019
An overwhelming read for obvious reasons. Zuckoff accomplishes exactly what he set out to do with this book on 9/11: to preserve the emotions, images, and terror felt by survivors and onlookers, to remember the last moments of loved ones who did not return home, and to provide younger generations and future readers an understanding of the emotional impact of that day.

One book cannot tackle every aspect of 9/11, however. The Pulitzer Prize winning 'The Looming Tower' details the geopolitical path that led to the rise of Osama Bin Laden and his group of extremists. But to expect an all encompassing book on 9/11 is not realistic. Enjoy Zuckoff's book for what it is; a well constructed, well written, and well researched narrative on the terrible events of a beautiful September day that changed the world forever. 5 stars. It's an important book.
17 reviews
April 26, 2019
Amazingly well done book every American should read. Even after so many years, after having read countless books and stories about that day, there are accounts in this book that I had never read, never heard about, that made me need to stop, to think, to mourn, and to pray. This is one of the best books on 9/11. One of the best books I've read, period. Mitchell Zuckoff works words like clay, but doesn't leave his mark on them... what's left behind is moving, powerful prose that puts you into the narrative. You are the EMT, the firefighter, the office worker rushing down the stairs, the survivor. The page count seems large but you will not notice it once you start reading. By the end, you are left wanting to hear more about the people, their stories, to know them. Don't pass up the opportunity to read this book. It's about each one of us, our past, and our future.
Profile Image for Denise.
509 reviews359 followers
September 13, 2021
I try and read a book about 9/11 each September, so that I don't ever become complacent about the events of that day. I have learned a lot from all of them, but I must say that this one absolutely gutted me. It is outstanding in its detailed, graphic history of the events surrounding 9/11 as they occurred in the air, New York City, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The emotion is raw and real, and the stories portrayed will stay with me for some time.

Zuckoff, a then-reporter for The Boston Globe, brings to life the events of that day in a way that I had not before experienced in any other 9/11 read. He vividly portrays the emotions and terror felt by survivors and family members, and in doing so, creates a visual image through words that is both powerful and unique. The book is divided into three parts: The Air - what occurred inside the cockpits and cabins of the four hijacked planes; The Ground - what occurred on the ground at the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and the small, Pennsylvania field; and The Aftermath - what became of some of the survivors, heroes, and the fallen. In each part, Zuckoff introduces the reader to a number of individuals and then builds the narrative around their stories, and he does it masterfully - even with such a large cast of characters. The book initially seems daunting in size, but a good portion of it consists of appendices, with timelines of events, and a list of all of the names and their locations on the 9/11 Memorial in NYC.

The quote by David Grann on the front cover says it all, "Zuckoff has provided us with an invaluable service. He has ensured that we will never forget."
Profile Image for Literary Redhead.
1,590 reviews484 followers
June 14, 2019
The reader will NEVER forget after finishing this gripping account of the day that changed America forever. I was working at home that morning, switched to AOL for news and saw the North Tower in flames. Turned on TV, watched both towers fall, and stayed there essentially ‘til I flew to the shelter of Colorado’s mountains that weekend. The Pearl Harbor of my generation is captured with a journalist’s immediacy through backstory, immersive you-are-there narrative, and sobering aftermath.

The author, Redstone Professor of Narrative at Boston University, penned the Boston Globe’s lead story that day and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in investigative reporting for the effort. Here, he adds the perspective of nearly 20 years, through the cinematic lens of personal stories of victims, survivors, families, first responders, government officials, even the hijackers themselves. A list of those lost is included, and I found myself reading those names reverently as I sat transfixed by what transpired in the planes, the towers, the Pentagon, on the ground, and in the homes of those desperately awaiting word from loved ones.

FALL AND RISE is the best of the scores of 9/11 books I’ve read, and should be on every classroom, library and home bookshelf. 5/5

Pub date: 30 April 2019. Available on Amazon.
Profile Image for Morgan Rose Moroney.
26 reviews793 followers
December 29, 2020
I’ll start by saying it is a big book, which kind of explains exactly how in depth the writer goes with each individuals lead up and happening of the worlds most detrimental terrorist attack.
Fall & Rise is how the book is sectioned:
FALL meaning the fall of the events which is also separated in two sections - the people in the air (on the flights) and the people on the ground (world trade centre & pentagon).
RISE meaning the aftermath of the event - going through survivors stories and what happened afterward.
It leaves you angry, sad and heartbroken. An incredible read.
September 18, 2019
This one got one of my rare 5-Star ratings. Hard to review because it was so breathtaking. I have visited the 9-11 museum and the memorial with all the engraved names. I was so glad to learn the backstories of so many people from reading this book. The author did a wonderful job of writing a book that will ensure that 9-11-01 will never be forgotten.
Profile Image for Karolina.
106 reviews102 followers
August 26, 2021
„11 września. Dzień, w którym zatrzymał się świat” to reportaż oddający hołd ofiarom, daje im głos, przedstawia ich ostatnie chwile. Książka Zuckoffa rekonstruuje przebieg ataku od samego początku, robiąc to niezwykle wnikliwie, ale poprzez tak dokładne opisanie ofiar, przedstawiając nam ich ostatnie rozmowy telefoniczne z najbliższymi dostajemy historię intymną, niesamowicie poruszającą. Nie zostali też pominięci bohaterowie tamtych wydarzeń - ratownicy medyczni, strażacy. Reportaż, pomimo tego, że znamy jego zakończenie, jest wciągający, ciężko go odłożyć i tak samo ciężko przestać o nim myśleć, bo to po prostu książka o ludziach, nie znajdziemy w niej suchych faktów.
Profile Image for Marta (Bibliofilem być).
416 reviews282 followers
December 15, 2021
Miałam momenty, kiedy myślałam, że już nie dam rady przeczytać ani jednej strony więcej. Jeden z najtrudniejszych do przejścia psychicznie reportaży, jakie czytałam.
Profile Image for Jill Meyer.
1,167 reviews105 followers
April 30, 2019
The attacks of September 11, 2001 are one of those events that people never forget the details. It's one of those seminal moments in our lives; we never forget where we were, what we were doing. MSNBC replays their broadcast moment by moment on the succeeding years. (Or, at least they did til last year. I certainly hope they go back to broadcasting it this year and going forward.) The fascinating thing about watching the rebroadcast is that you can tell how scared...and professional, the news people were, despite the knowing that tens of thousands of people could have been killed that day, if the buildings hadn't been evacuated so well.

There have been many books - both fiction and non-fiction - written about 9/11. Now Boston Globe journalist, Mitchell Zukoff, has written one of the definitive books about the attacks and the people behind it, affected by it, and horrified by it. His book, "Rise and Fall: The Story of 9/11", uses the lives of pilots, passengers, civil responders, Osama bin Ladin and the hijackers, as well as many others whose lives either ended or were changed irretrievably that day. One of the sadder stories is that of two friends and the young daughter of one from Boston. They traveled separately to Los Angeles; one woman on the American flight...and her friend and child on the United flight. All three were killed that day.

In addition to looking at the deed and the people, Zuckoff examines the official response by our government agencies, both the FAA and law enforcement. Agencies didn’t work together and no one officially cared if students at flying academies in the South West and Florida only wanted to know how to fly straight ahead and not know how to take off and land. “No Fly” lists were not extensive and the names were routinely ignored.

Zukoff does an excellent job of going behind the scenes and asking questions I hadn't heard addressed before. His writing is smooth and the book is a pleasure - despite the topic - to read.

By the way, he recommends several other books on the subject, including "102 Minutes: The Unforgettable Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers" by New York Times reporters Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn. It explains how the Towers were evacuated and more lives were saved.
Profile Image for Josh.
291 reviews148 followers
April 10, 2020
Just like when JFK was assassinated, there are so many Americans that can remember exactly what they were doing when they first heard the news of the plane hijackings on 9/11/2001, whether they encountered it first-hand, saw it live on TV as I did or heard about it later on that day. I was one of the lucky ones, encountering it from afar, unlike those who lost their lives or saw it up close with their own eyes.

I was 21 years of age. I had just put my clothes on for work that day. As I came around the corner into the living room I noticed one of my roommates was watching the news on TV, which rarely happened. He was going nuts; he said there were reports that a plane had just flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. I just happened to look at the time and it was about a minute past 8:00am Central Time. All of a sudden as I glanced at the monitor again, a plane comes into view and slams into the South Tower.

As I had to be at work in about 30 minutes, I took my time to try to wrap my head around what I just saw. It was quite an unbelievable experience. We both sat down and stared at the monitor in awe. After a few minutes, I rose up and decided that I had to go about my day, no matter what.

As I arrived to work, more news flooded the local news stations and the early days of mass internet media. The local library I was an employee of decided to bring a TV into the lobby so employees and patrons could view the news as each thing transpired.

When news broke that a plane was hijacked and slammed into Ring E, D and C at the Pentagon, we felt it. When another slammed into an abandoned coal mine in Shanksville, PA, we felt it. When the South Tower collapsed, bringing millions of tons of concrete, steel, insulation, furniture and bodies, we felt it. When the North Tower collapsed bringing millions of tons of concrete, steel, insulation, furniture and bodies, we felt it.

Zuckoff takes all of these events and creates a powerful, fluid narrative of the story that day. He blends the lives of every day people with more well-known that died that day into a highly descriptive chronological account;one for all of those that witnessed it can relate to and remember and for those too young or unborn prior to it, to learn and take in.

This book gives a general overview of the threats that were made, how we were direly unprepared in just about every sense for what happened and how this event completely changed the way we travel today.

It was a horrible day. It was an eye-opening experience. It will be remembered.
Profile Image for britt_brooke.
1,264 reviews94 followers
July 12, 2019
Narrative nonfiction master Mitchell Zuckoff thoughtfully humanizes 9/11. A meticulous timeline dotted with personal stories creates a vivid picture of the fear and confusion, bravery and selflessness. This completely consumed me. Reading about such pain and loss is difficult and draining, but there are so many folks who lived this, and who are still living this. We owe it them to better understand what happened.

Profile Image for Jill Mackin.
339 reviews151 followers
August 3, 2019
I've read other accounts of what happened on September 11th, and this was by far THE definitive book on the attacks on America. Portions of the North and South tower phone calls to 911 I found disturbing. Very sad.
Profile Image for Elias Claeys.
5 reviews2 followers
March 3, 2023
Sprakeloos. Met voorsprong één van de mooiste boeken die ik ooit las, om de zoveel pagina’s met tranen in de ogen. 6 sterren.
Profile Image for Michelle.
Author 12 books1,341 followers
June 12, 2019
Seems ludicrous to point out the obvious--but this is a heavy (and heavily-researched) booked. Despite the heft (or length--I listened on audio), it's a fast "read" and the sort of riveting narrative non-fiction that feels like a novel. The research here is obvious and though I don't know how long the author took to write the book, if he started immediately after 9/11 and just finished, I would not be surprised. So thorough, and engaging, and downright heartbreaking. There's a LOT that's new to me here...I don't know if that's because I was out of the country on 9/11, so wasn't getting as much of the information (I didn't know for a year that people jumped from the towers), or if it was that his research was that good. The most excruciating parts are all the little mistakes that cost thousands of lives. Most horrific was learning how many people had evacuated from the south tower after the first tower was hit, and WERE TOLD TO RETURN TO WORK before the second plane hit. That seems absolutely asinine given what happened to the first tower, but of course I have the benefit of hindsight. As a whole, we think differently in the post-9/11 world but I just cannot get over this fact. I have friends that were in the second tower and this was a shocking, sickening revelation. How strong their families must be to grapple with this information. A must-read for all Americans and it's a great listen (though sometimes the author's dramatic re-reading of peoples' pleas and calls out for help feels a little cheezy if not borderline disrespectful but admittedly I listen at 1.25x speed). Still, an excellent book I will never forget.
Profile Image for Rennie.
304 reviews58 followers
January 21, 2022
This was obviously deeply lovely and incredibly moving, really excellent narrative nonfiction in general. It just got a liiiitttle melodramatic in a tell rather than show kind of way. But he really succeeded in his goal of creating a comprehensive narrative, and highlighting some of the heroics and individual stories of that day. I cried a bunch of times :(
Profile Image for DziwakLiteracki.
257 reviews58 followers
September 15, 2022
Historia zamachów z 11 września zaczęła się na długo przed dniem ‘zero’. W 1998 roku, czterdziestoletni bojownik, Osama Bin Laden, podpisuje tzw. FATWĘ - dekret wzywający do zagłady niewiernych. Wraz z swymi radykalnymi towarzyszami, Bin Laden nawołuje do dokonywania morderstw na amerykańskich obywatelach, którzy – wedle mniemania zorganizowanej grupy – są bezpośrednim zagrożeniem dla wiary, religii oraz świętej ziemi muzułmańskiej; Amerykanów będących symbolem zepsucia i rozwiązłej kultury Zachodniej, należy bezwzględnie zwalczać przez odbieranie życia, ograbianie z dóbr materialnych, niweczenie wartości i pogwałcanie ich ogólnie przyjętych norm społecznych. Nagrodą w ów ‘wojnach’ mają być łaski Allaha; każdy, kto w imię wyznania umiera, może liczyć na żywot w pozaziemskim raju.

Fundamentalistyczne hasła szybko więc trafiły do właściwej rzeszy fanatyków i równie szybko przyczyniły się do podjęcia konkretnych działań. Na przestrzeni zaledwie kilkunastu miesięcy, członkowie Al-Kaidy przyznali się do serii ataków bombowych, którymi ofiarami padali oczywiście – amerykańcy cywile oraz oficjele. Nie minęło wiele czasu, a rząd USA zwrócił uwagę na prawdopodobnego prowodyra agresywnej rebelii, oceniając go jednoznacznie jako ‘przyszłościowo potencjonalne zagrożenie dla kraju’. I choć zlecano, by Bin Ladenem zająć się bezzwłocznie, żaden z członków specjalnie powołanej jednostki kontrwywiadowczej nie mógł przewidzieć, że czyny tego zdeterminowanego, maniakalnie zaślepionego ekstremisty, będą obfitowały w ogrom niemożliwego do uniesienia cierpienia; że z konsekwencjami jego szaleńczego dzieła, Ameryka będzie zmuszona mierzyć się po dziś dzień; że podjęte przeciwśrodki wcale nie okażą się wystarczające, by zapobiec tragedii 9/11.


Trzech mężczyzn – Muhammad Ata, Marwan asz-Szihhi, Zijad Dżarrah – w oczach Osamy Bin Ladena uchodzili za idealnych kandydatów, gotowych spełnić każdą makabryczną wizję swego przywódcy. Byli oddani wierze, żywili tożsame przekonania, pragnienia i idee; dążyli do tych jednakowych celów, a przy tym cechowali się ogromną lojalnością. Zostali wybrani przez Bin Ladena nieprzypadkowo, bo prócz oczywistych atutów, posiadali pewne związki z krajem Zachodu: mówili po angielsku, poznali się z ogólnymi regułami europejskimi, potrafili dobrze wpasować się w społeczeństwo; nie wyróżniać, nie rzucać w oczy, działać po cichu, nie wzbudzać podejrzeń. A plan, pierwotnie opracowany już w 1993 roku i zakładający sabotaż amerykańskich samolotów pasażerskich w celu ich przekierowania i zaatakowania WTC, wymagał przecież, tych szczególnych umiejętności.


0 8:46 we wtorkowy poranek, lot numer 11 z prędkością prawie siedmiuset kilometrów na godzinę, uderza w północną ścianę 96 piętra World Trade Center. Parę minut później, gdy pierwsi świadkowie wydarzenia otrząsają się z otępiającego szoku, o 9:03 – na oczach prawie całej Ameryki – w bliźniaczo podobny monument, między 77 a 78 kondygnacją, wbija się stalowy dziób boeinga 767; drugiego i o czym jeszcze nie wiadomo - nieostatniego porwanego samolotu.

Nikt wówczas nie ma wątpliwości, że to co powszechnie brano za nieszczęśliwy wypadek, wcale wypadkiem nie jest, przeciwnie; to precyzyjnie wymierzony atak w samo serce społeczeństwa, w jego poczucie bezpieczeństwa, wolności i zjednoczenia.

W Pentagonie pandemonium wybucha o 9:36, ponieważ to wtedy lot 77 uderza w zewnętrzne fortyfikacje budowli. Zabija pasażerów, rani i odbiera życie tym, którzy przebywają w siedzibie Departamentu Obrony.

Do finałowego ataku dochodzi o 10:03, na terenie malutkiej mieściny w Pensylwanii – Shanksville. Rozpędzony boeing 757 rozbija się o ziemię, tworząc przy tym wyrwę o głębokości ponad 5 metrów. Wszyscy pasażerowie giną na miejscu.


Określenie, że jakiś reportaż, że któraś książka z zakresu literatury faktu, ‘wstrząsa’ bądź ‘poraża’, brzmi miałko i nijako. Zwłaszcza w odniesieniu do wagi wybiórczych zdarzeń. Ale mówiąc szczerze, trudno jasno zdefiniować uczucia towarzyszące przytłaczającemu ciężarowi ludzkich tragedii. Niby czyta się, przebiega wzrokiem tekst, składa zdania, a jednak nie wszystko dociera do świadomości; gdzieś z tyłu głowy rodzi się natomiast kłębowisko różnych myśli, niełatwych refleksji, złożonych emocji, absolutnie skomplikowanych i niejednoznacznych. Jak je opisać? Jak opowiedzieć o nich tak, by nie popaść w banał lub ckliwy patetyzm? Cóż, nie zawsze jest to możliwe.

O publikacji Mitchella Zuckoffa można wypowiadać się w podobnym tonie, choć osobiście uważam to za zbędne. W końcu to oczywiste, że temat zamachów wzbudzi konkretne skojarzenia. I niech tak pozostanie - sięgając po ,,11 września. Dzień, w którym zatrzymał się świat’’ musicie zostać przygotowani na żmudną, bolesną, szalenie emocjonalną przeprawę; na nawał uwierających spostrzeżeń; na strach ściskający serce, na żal, na łzy; na chwile zadumy, smutku, zmęczenia. To będzie jedna z najmniej komfortowych, lecz jednocześnie najbardziej wartościowych lektur, z jaką przyjdzie Wam się zmierzyć.

Zuckoff bowiem w swoim dziele dokonał czegoś, co zdecydowanie zbyt rzadko cechuje współczesnych reportażystów – połączył rzetelność z całym pokładem swej głębokiej empatii, zrozumienia, współczucia, wrodzonej wrażliwości. W sposób delikatny, wyważony, dotknął wspomnień ocalałych biorących pośredni lub bezpośredni udział w wydarzeniach z 9/11; zebrał liczne świadectwa odwagi, ofiarności i poświęcenia; głęboko zasłuchał się w głos pokrzywdzonych rodzin, utożsamił z ich bólem, dotarł do środka pamięci; zrozumiał i… Przelał to wszystko na papier.

Nie uciekając przy tym zbyt daleko od swej właściwej roli. Bo to również należy podkreślić – Mitchell Zuckoff świetnie lawiruje pomiędzy faktami, informacjami, pomniejszymi zdarzeniami, prezentując je krok po kroku – rzeczowo, prosto, chronologicznie, bez chaosu i pośpiechu; precyzyjnie kreśli każdą godzinę składającą się na ten jeden, tragiczny dzień; na czynniki pierwsze rozkłada ciąg przyczynowo skutkowy prowadzący do finału zamachu, wspomina o różnorakich powiązaniach oraz czynnikach mających wpływ na historię ataku, lecz to wszystko przedstawiając tak, aby pozostawić miejsce zarówno dla ofiar, jak i cichych bohaterów wrześniowego dramatu Ameryki.

Można posunąć się do stwierdzenia, że tytuł Zuckoffa jest z jednej strony – mistrzowskim dziełem gatunku, imponującym pokłosiem żmudnej, skrupulatnej pracy zdeterminowanego researchera znającego wagę omawianego przez siebie tematu, z drugiej zaś – to swego rodzaju mozaika osobistych przeżyć, bolesnych doświadczeń, intymnych wspomnień z dnia, w którym…

Dla wielu zatrzymał się świat.
Profile Image for David.
507 reviews35 followers
January 10, 2020
The introduction, prologue and final chapter were all very good and the middle chapters were gripping. The stories of the flights and sites seems relatively proportional. Most of the book relates to the WTC crashes while the Pentagon crash gets the next most attention and the Shanksville crash the least, but not insubstantial, coverage.

This is a book about what happened and when, not an analysis of cause. (Ghost Wars (by Steve Coll) and The Looming Tower (by Lawrence Wright) are very good books about why 9/11 came to be.) This book is more stylistically similar to the excellent book 102 Minutes (by Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn). Another very good book worth mentioning is Heart of a Soldier (by James B. Stewart) which chronicles the life of 9/11 hero Rick Rescorla.

The author does an excellent job of presenting a timeline so that the reader gets a sense of what happened in the air and on the ground at any particular point in time. The stories mesh together very well. Anyone unfamiliar with the geography around the WTC site would benefit from having a map handy as the author mentions the streets in the surrounding area as the crisis unfolds. Escape routes and access points are a significant part of the NYC stories.
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