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The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  311 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Writing with access to thousands of recently released official documents, new interviews & perspectives coming from a decade of research & reflection, Anthony Summers & Robbyn Swan deliver the 1st panoramic, authoritative look at 9/11.
For many Americans, 9/11/2001, is the darkest date in the nation's history. What exactly happened? Could it have been prevented
Hardcover, 1st, 624 pages
Published July 19th 2011 by Ballantine Books/Random House (NYC) (first published January 1st 2011)
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Just a Drop of Water by Kerry O'Malley CerraExtremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran FoerReport from Ground Zero by Dennis  SmithThe Eleventh Day by Anthony SummersFalling Man by Don DeLillo
9/11 Books
4th out of 38 books — 48 voters
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer102 Minutes by Jim DwyerJust a Drop of Water by Kerry O'Malley CerraFirehouse by David HalberstamFalling Man by Don DeLillo
9/11 Related
23rd out of 120 books — 149 voters

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Community Reviews

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Paul Bryant

What I wanted to know about 9/11

1. All about the conspiracy theories.

The conspiracy theories are no longer fringe, they've become mainstream. In 2006, one third of the American population thought that Bush was somehow responsible for 9/11. Most of this third was under 30. I was very pleased to see that after recounting te events of 9/11, this book immediately confronts the Truthers.

What do The Truthers say?

1. The Towers collapsed because they were deliberately blown up by explosives already pl
I read this book way back in September, finishing just days before the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It has sat on my bookshelves, both virtual and actual, since then, awaiting a review. I haven’t gotten around to it because, frankly, I don’t think anyone cares.

Not about the terrorist attacks themselves, of course. Everyone cares about 9/11. It is the third rail in American life, to be brought up carefully, if at all.

No, I mean that I don’t believe people – Americans in parti
Okay, let me start by saying that I am a spoiled middle class American and that I routinely ignore world events simply because I have the luxury to do so. I have been known to say about the news, “I’ll pay attention to it when it comes knocking on my door.” I am woefully ignorant of real world politics. I grew up in the 1980s and in my mind Israel and Palestine have been at war “forever” and the Muslims hate the Jews and in general America supports the Jews. As egocentric as that may sound, it i ...more
Erik Graff
Mar 26, 2012 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: US citizens
Recommended to Erik by: Kelly Kingdon
Shelves: history
Kelly, a Canadian bookseller who visits us in Chicago once or twice a year, brought this hot-off-the-presses book as a free-will love offering during his most recent appearance. Given the fact that it covers events up through the assassination of Osama bin Laden, I got to it almost immediately.

The Eleventh Day was written by a husband and wife team. Not being their first work together, the prose is seamless except for the final chapter where it shows signs of haste. The fact that they are both j
The authors have done a thorough job documenting the tragedies of 9/11. Althought they debunk the various conspiracy theories that have flourished, they provide vital information about little-explored links between the terrorists and their financial backers. The 9/11 Commission Report seems to have ignored some evidence about the involvement of Saudi Arabia in the plot to harm American. And both the Bush and the Obama administration have kept documents that could shed light on the subject classi ...more
Seeing Anthony Summers as co-author (along with his wife) made me both excited and a bit apprehensive about this new book overviewing 9/11. Summers has done great work on Nixon, but in his “The File on the Tsar” he gave credence to conspiracy ideas, claiming that at least Anastasia, if not other daughters of Nicholas II, escaped the cellar in Ekarterinberg.

Well, I was pleasantly relieved early on. Quite so.

Summers quickly dismisses conspiracy theories about the attacks, focusing above all on the
Sharon Murphy
This is a new book that I read on my kindle. It was mostly about the Bush Administration and his relationship with the Saudi Royalty. He and Dick Cheney covered up quite a bit about the real happenings of 9/11. Basically they are both liars and Bush should have been thrown out of office for what he did. His administration did not recognize Al-Quida and Bin Laden as a threat. Condolessa Rice blow off anyone who tried to tell her about the real threat that they were. The FBI did not share anything ...more
If you are looking for a fact-based historical account of the events of 9/11 minus the smoke screens and whacked out conspiracy theories, The Eleventh Day fills the need. This is not to say there may or may not have been conspiracies. The authors end this work with some disturbing unanswered questions.

While there are a number of books dedicated to the history of 9/11, this one covers the subject with the right balance of detail and brevity. The extensive bibliography and end notes provide reader
Ann Li
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Anthony Summers provided a detailed and well-researched description and timeline surrounding the people and events of 9/11. I initially sympathized with the Truthers and believed that the US government had a part in this tragedy- but after reading 11th Day I changed my mind and am more disgusted with how inept, ineffective and low our government leaders and agencies really are.
I’ve never been so emotional and incensed from reading a book! I was especially infuria
Brian Bundesen
Excellent narrative, exhaustive research, and several startling conclusions. This book was hard to put down. Highly recommended.
Thorough and comprehensive. This book is well worth the read and is a good balance to other material that has been written. It has some of the best sourcing anyone could ask for down to each paragraph's source being revealed. It does a good job at dispelling some of the more "out there" conspiracy theories and deserves high praise for mentioning the roles of first responders and their subsequent abysmal treatment by the government for their ailments.

He does a great job of destroying a lot of the
Neil Mudde
From the back cover of the book " Ten years have passed and Osama bin Laden is no more. Yet there is a lingering sense that the nation and world have been let down, deprived of the right to know -even deceived- on a matter of greater universal concern than any event in living memory.
It need not have been that way, The release in the past two years of some 300.000 pages previously classified 9/11 Commission documents a plethora of other material, and new interviews make it possible to lay some of
Austin Poole
Oct 21, 2014 Austin Poole rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People 12 and older
Recommended to Austin by: Nobody looked up stories
I read The Eleventh Day. It was written by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan. In my opinion it was a really informational book. I recommend this book for anyone who is interested about what exactly happened and no one under the age of 12-13 because they wouldn't know what some of the words mean.
First, it goes into the people who work there in the towers, it lists names of companies and people who worked for those companies. The book goes into a lot more detail but I don't want to give away the e
Gripping from start to finish. Made me think about how much we rely on the 'news' - how much we assume it presents us with the facts. If the authors are to be trusted, I was staggered at the crippling incompetencies that 'allowed' - even facilitated - the events of September 11th 2001. I cannot even begin to imagine how the families must have felt on hearing some of the information in this book.

One of the best reads of the year so far.
This book is eye-opening and it makes me furious too - it is very detailed in its research and it makes me not trust our executive branch of government. I can imagine so much of the denial and passing the blame too, having worked in a government agency in the past. I thought I wouldn't be able to get through this book because of its length and the subject matter, but I actually couldn't put it down.
I am a member of the subset generation called the 9/11 Generation: we were between the ages of 10 and 20 on September 11th. I don't know if this precisely makes us different from say any other generation that straddled a particularly traumatizing national event, but it's something that I kept in my mind whilst reading this book.
That is its strength. Anthony Summers managed to remind me of the world that used to be, and to give an excellent narrative of the day that changed it. Also, while he di
Pete daPixie
'The Eleventh Day-The Ultimate Account of 9/11', hot off the press in 2011 from Anthony Summers & Robbyn Swan, is a highly commended investigative account of this horrendous terrorist attack and it's subsequent repercussions over the last decade.
The account hits hard from the outset. A chronological study of stunned confusion, of phone transcripts from American 11 and United 175. Live t.v. coverage. Desperate phone calls to 911 from first the North then later the South towers of the W.T.C. A
Simon Lipson
I'm fascinated by 9/11 and have read several books about what happened that day, what caused it and the aftermath, but this is comfortably the best. The authors have delved into that event, poring through thousands of documents, not least the 9/11 Commission Report, in incredible detail. You'd expect a dry and academic book to result from such comprehensive research, but fluid prose coupled with judicious and properly considered analysis, boils 9/11 down to its essence and enables logical and of ...more
The book gives a lot to take in. There is a lot of information, and ideas on what the information could mean. Absolutely not a quick read, I found myself reading some parts to be sure I had actually understood correctly. For me, I also found myself frustrated as I read, not at the book but with our government. The book points out numerous errors and attempts to conceal information. I had never bought into the idea that we were (as a nation) totally innocent victims of radicals that hate us for o ...more
Catherine Ryan Howard
Hmm... There's a lot that's great about this book. It's meticulously researched, easy to follow despite the mind-boggling number of characters and unlike a lot of historical/political non-fiction you find on the shelves these days, utterly readable. But it's hardly the definitive account of 9/11, and the more I think about it, the more I can't hold the authors responsible for this. A definitive account would span volumes; there just isn't enough room in a book that can't be too heavy to hold to ...more
If you are interested in the history of 9/11 and what happened both on 9/11 and the days, months, and years both pre and post 9-11 then this a great book with lots of information I haven't read or seen in other 9/11 history programs. As the title of the book says it really is the full story on 9/11. The authors did years of research and interviews to write this book. They used publish reports such as the 9/11 Commissions Report as the starting point for their research. They also relied on interv ...more
Scott L.
This is a very comprehensive book on the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks that brought down the World Trade Center towers and hit the Pentagon. The book concentrates less on the day itself and more on what lead to the attacks and why the greatest nation in the world was powerless and impotent to stop the attacks from happening. It also concentrates on how the Bush/Cheney administration was ignoring all the signs of the attacks because counter-terrorism was not on their agenda - until after t ...more
Greg Miller
An exhaustive investigation which includes examinations of "truthers," al Qaeda, bin Laden, Bush, Clinton, Clarke, the CIA, the FBI, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It lays out how the attacks were planned and executed and gives the reader a sense of who perpetrators were and describes their skewed motivations. I found it especially unsettling to read about how many warnings we received in the months and years leading up to September 11, 2001 - some of them extremely specific - which went ...more
There is no doubt that this is a reasonably complete account of 9/ll from many perspectives. A reader of this book will find much that is interesting, perhaps upsetting but will emerge a better educated citizen. My major complaints are occasional unclear sentences and antecedents and especially a noticeable bias when reporting on anything to do with the Bush Administration which comes in for harsh criticism. Granted, there is enough criticism to go around but to this reader, it seemed that the B ...more
I didn't fully understand the purpose of this book, but it does provide a full story of 9/11 and the aftermath. The first chapter (reliving the few hours of the attacks from a personal view) is absolutely heart-wrenching to read. The second chapter (describing in great detail conspiracy theories of people who claim 9/11 never happened, or was orchestrated by the federal government), was the most infuriating thing I've read in a long time. Needless to say, I pressed on. I think some chapters got ...more
Bill S.
Brought back the horror of that day and the anger at both the terrorists and the agencies and officials inside our government that simply did not do their jobs.
Probably as good and insightful read regarding the events around 9.11.01.
The authors, a husband and wife team, make use of recently released documents to help fill in some previous missing datum.

The book includes a chapter to address alternative theories other than the one provided by
the 911 Commission.

For the most part the authors stick to facts, but personal opinion and conjecture on their
part does sneak in from time to time.

The book contains copious amounts of notes and references at the end
Christopher Turton
The most honest, unbiased, easy-to-read 9/11 book I have yet to see. Enlightening, educational, and enjoyable.
A decade later Bin Laden is dead, Summers & Swan try to narrate what happened, using documentation & interviews, with a minimum of speculation. Over 600+ pages the picture that emerges is of the US & allies Saudi Arabia & Pakistan supporting an international network of fanatical Sunni warriors, one portion of which turns against the US after the USSR is defeated. The book suggests that there are a lot of loose ends re who supported this portion and why.
Christopher Carbone
A relatively expansive, but ultimately overly ambitious description of 9/11, al-Queda, bin Laden and the US response. Has a good, but by no means complete, section on why the “9/11 Truth Movement” is baseless. Ultimately, this book would have been better had the author taken one or two parts of the story of 9/11 and dedicated the pages to those pieces, instead of trying to cover it all.
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Anthony Summers is the bestselling author of eight nonfiction books. His investigative books include Not in Your Lifetime, the critically acclaimed book about the assassination of John F. Kennedy; Official & Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover; and most recently The Eleventh Day, on the 9/11 attacks—a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for History.
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