Report from Ground Zero
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Report from Ground Zero

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  453 ratings  ·  47 reviews
The tragic events of September 11, 2001, forever altered the American landscape, both figuratively and literally. Immediately after the jets struck the twin towers of the World Trade Center, Dennis Smith, a former firefighter, reported to Manhattan’s Ladder Co. 16 to volunteer in the rescue efforts. In the weeks that followed, Smith was present on the front lines, attendin...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published February 25th 2003 by Plume (first published January 1st 2002)
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Aug 25, 2008 Samantha rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one...
I really wanted to like this book...really I tried; however, I just couldn't find it in me to enjoy a 400 page pat on the back. The self-centered author, who makes frequent references to his popularity among firefighters due to his other book "Report from Engine Company 82," his powerful friends (he refers to Mayor Guiliani in the book as 'Rudy') and his significant skills (he writes someone told him on the piles, 'You're the natural. If anyone can do it, you can.") makes me want to scream. Sept...more
I liked this book and enjoyed the fact it shed light on what the firefighters went through on that fateful day and the subsequent days afterward. Dennis Smith is a well-known firefighter turned writer, and I would recommend this book of his to others. However, if a person were to only read one book about 9/11 and/or about the 343 firefighters that lost their lives that day, I would adamantly recommend The Last Men Out: Life on the Edge at Rescue 2 Firehouse instead of this one. While this book i...more
Mar 31, 2009 Michelle rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: ben
I read a review before I started this book that the author was really proud of himself and indulgent in sharing all the important people he knows. It took me awhile to get it.

The first half of this book is testimonials from people that were in/at Ground Zero as it happened. Very good to give a perspective of locations and what it really sounded/felt like. Also was interesting to view these firefighters/emergency personnel as real people. I got turned off when the last testimonial was the author...more
Hope Bennett
Report From Ground Zero by Dennis Smith- The Story of the Rescue Efforts at the World Trade Center

In Report from Ground Zero are real stories from a number of different people involved in the tragedy of September 11th, 2001. Author Dennis Smith, a (retired) career firefighter with the New York Fire Department, went to ground zero to help with rescue efforts right after the attacks. During the three months he was there, he was able to gather many stories of rescue workers, victim’s wives, and oth...more
No book has ever made my cry like this one did. Like many people my age (who were just old enough to understand and be horrified and interested in the events of 9/11. I was 13 in 2001), I have great interest in the events of 9/11. I don't care about the political side of the events, but I am very interested in the stories of the people who were directly impacted on that day. I also have a strange love for firefighters - it's my secret dream job, but I'm definitely physically incapable of ever do...more
George Amalvert
Oct 18, 2011 George Amalvert is currently reading it
Dear reader,

This books tells you about what was going on when the World Trade Center was attacked on 9/11/01. it was very interesting knowing what the Firefighters were going through that day when the towers were hit. It also talks about what they were doing before the towers were hit, the most interesting story about this story was when a retired Firefighter was sitting at home and he heard that the tower one was hit so he ran across the bridge to the world trade center site and went to the n...more
I hate to give this 3 stars simply because of the subject matter. However, I don't feel it deserved a higher rating.
The first part of the book is amazing. Smith complies various interviews that he did himself of first responders that were there at Ground Zero on 9/11. He does an excellent job piecing together the interviews so that the reader gets an exact time line of the events as they unfolded through the eyes of the first responders. He even includes a dispatcher, who are often overlooked as...more
Stephany G
This was a good book. The author not only walked you through the day of this tragedy and the days that followed from his perspective, but gave you an insight to the close bond of the fire department members and their families in this great city. I have no doubt of the love and respect these men share towards their coworkers, their city, and their work. I appreciated the individual stories from those involved that we're included as well as information on how the department is set up. I wish a pic...more
Brad H
WOW !!!!

As a avid reader and lover of books I am at a loss for words.

This book, is one of the finest and truest examples of what happened and those effected. Not some political figer pointing. Not why it happened...but what really happened.
I cried, I cheered, and have read this book 3x.

If I ever win the Lotto....I would exhaust my $$$ to bring this to screen.
America might not be ready or willing to see it on screen.
But, by God I would make them. This would make one of the most epic movies, if t...more
Apr 27, 2008 Sherri rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: history-politics
This book made me cry when I read it, but it also helped me to feel what it must have been like being in NYC on 9/11 rather then watching it on TV from home. As much as I could watch the coverage, (which I seemed to be doing 24/7), this book made it seem more personal. It is written like a journal and has all of the emotions and feelings of a diary. The emphasis is not on grammar and correct word usage but on what was going on at the time. I thought that it was great.
This was an excellent book. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to know about 9/11. I found that I didn't want to put it down, but sometimes I just had to. This book is filled with personal stories from the firefighters families that didn't make it, there are also stories from the firefighters that rushed down there to help their "brothers". This book also explains why the towers came down so quick.
Hearing the accounts of these people was amazing. I can't even begin to imagine what they have gone through. There are quite a few accounts of the accident and I found myself getting "bored" with the same story. And then I remembered that these stories are real and were very real for those that lived them. I was then able to finish listening to them with a better appreciation for the individuals.
Its a great book for any man/woman that wants to be a fireman. It makes you realize that fireman, and women have a an out ragious jobs upon their shoulds, and makes you really appreciate what they had to go through during the 9.11.01 situations. It made you say wow ever time you read a chapter of the books, and its really what made me want to become a firefighter, and fullfill my dreams!
this is the firefighters perspective of Sep 11th and the subsequent days that follow. I have not read a book before about firefighters but their loyalty and true brotherhood is incredible. the book provides factual information, eyewitness accounts, and even some eulogies. it had me in tears, with chills and a shear sense of awe. I am grateful to have read this.
Great book. The real story of the uniformed men and women in the WTC on 9/11. No Bull... no fluff... just their real stories. I was enthralled in the guys of engin 39? telling their story of surviving the collapse of 1WTC while they were in the stairs of the building. Simply amazing. A little 'Rah-Rah-ish', but we need that every once-in-a-while.
Amy Giveans
Just finished reading. 9/11 is a day we will never forget and this book follows the fire fighters who where the first to respond, to the search and rescue, through the search and recovery. I thought it was amazing. The stories are heartbreaking but the human spirit is an amazing thing. A book every high school kid should read.
Very good narrative, in the first person, from several people who were very close to this tragedy. Reading it brings tears to my eyes, but also helps me to never forget. I hope all the survivors and victims families knows that there are many who think of them daily and will never forget their sacrifice or suffering.
As second generation fire fighters, my brother and I can only handle this book in small doses, but can't put it down for long.... It stirs an emotion from us despite the fact that we didn't know anyone personally effected by the day the twin towers fell. All fire/rescue/police officers should read this!
Scott L.
Amazing book, by a retired New York City firefighter. Smith brought gritty realism to firefighting in Report From Engine Co. 82; and here he does the same for the fight to save lives during the September 11, 2001 attacks at the World Trade Center. Great read from an excellent author.
Heartbreaking, inspiring, poignant accounts of struggle for survival in the Twin Towers and coping in the aftermath of 9/11. Writing and storytelling is done by a retired NYC firefighter, already an accomplished author before he took on this project.
Jerry Killen
Well written and wonderful tribute to the firemen of New York. Everyone should read to better understand the terrible tragedy and the men who went into harm's way. It is thought provoking and emotional. Thanks to Dennis Smith for writing this.
This book made me proud to have been born and raised in New York. The sacrifices made by the selfless men and women from the NYPD, FDNY, and Port Authority on 9/11 will be remembered forever. God bless the heroes of 9/11 along with all the victims.
I found this book to be interesting yet it was a very slow read for me. I was falling asleep while reading it (which normally doesn't happen). I am glad I read it but I really liked the 102 Minutes (another book about 9/11) much better.
A former firefighter tells of the rescue efforts at Ground Zero. We meet the heroes who helped and the ones who died. Many first hand accounts by public safety workers who felt free to talk to another firefighter and tell their story.
This was a heart wrenching book to read, but it will make you feel like you were there that day. I really like this author - he writes with such realism you can't put his books down. He knows what he's talking about!
Andy B
I found this book a good first hand account of what went on at the twin towers in New York on 911.The author is a former NY fireman and wrote books about the firemans life in NYC.I recomend this book to everyone.
Another great one from Dennis Smith. Look for mention of my brave cousin Brian O'Flaherty...Battalion Chief FDNY..he didn't have to be there. Probably the next to last guy to see Ray Downey before he was killed.
Sharon Murphy
Dennis Smith tells his own tale of recoving bodies and cleaning up after 9-11. He puts a human face on the victims, many of whom he knew because he was a former New York firefighter. It was a good read.
Eyewitness account of the events of Sept. 11, 2001 from Dennis Smith, a former NY Fireman. I read his other book, Report from Engine Co. 82. An outstanding author. So sad, so tragic.
I learned alot about the firefighters of 911. Dennis Smith is a good writer with a very different way of talking about the events and the firefighters who lived and died that day.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Dennis Smith is a former firefighter, a writer and president of a company offering financial services to emergency services personnel. He is an advocate for firefighters in the United States. He served for 18 years (1963-1981) as a firefighter with the New York City Fire Dep...more
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