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Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11

4.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,650 ratings  ·  359 reviews
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.

Kindle Edition, 625 pages
Published April 30th 2019 by Harper
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Mitchell Zuckoff Nearly five years ago, it became apparent to me that a clear and troubling gap existed on the crowded shelf of 9/11 books. Many of the books already…moreNearly five years ago, it became apparent to me that a clear and troubling gap existed on the crowded shelf of 9/11 books. Many of the books already published were excellent, but no one volume told the complete narrative of the day itself, covering key events, issues, and timelines (all four hijackings, the immediate results of the crashes, and the initial chaotic military and government response). I also thought it particularly important to do so in a way that focused on individuals at the center of these events. When I combined those realizations with the knowledge that an entire generation had no independent memories of 9/11, the task became clear. Almost as soon as I began my research, I recognized that some people who had never been ready to tell their stories had reached a point where they considered it important to do so. As a result of those factors (along with several others, but that would be a much longer reply), I became convinced this was not only the right time to write this book, but also that it would be much richer than it would have been if I had begun my work a decade earlier. I hope that's useful. (Also, my name is Mitchell Zuckoff)(less)
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28 books — 42 voters

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Average rating 4.74  · 
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 ·  1,650 ratings  ·  359 reviews

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Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-reads, audiobook
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 se
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 9-11
“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 fi ...more
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 t
Paul Bryant
Jun 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 9-11
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
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 pat
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Literary Soirée
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, history
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.
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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.

Stephanie Fitzgerald
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.
Jill Meyer
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 pe ...more
Jill Mackin
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.

Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I lived through that horrible day, I watched the coverage, I watched all the shows about 9/11 on the anniversaries. I thought I knew what happened that day. I still learned so much from this book about the day and people affected. Expect to read about things people saw and experienced that you will not be able to get out of your mind.
Very well written and very moving. I found myself in tears many times. Recommended for everyone but be aware it may bring back many bad memories.
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, non-fiction, 9-11
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 ...more
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5/5⭐— I cannot say I loved it, but I can say that I am trying to gather thoughts to remember how I feel about this book while wiping tears from my eyes. I could only handle reading a chapter of this at a time, so in essence I have been sitting in the midst of 9/11 for the several weeks I’ve been reading this book. There are no words to describe justly the heroic, horrific, gut wrenching day. Every American should read this book. I was only in 2nd grade on 9/11, and while I remember the events of ...more
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Zuckoff’s book is both sweeping and intimate; he deftly describes the wide-reaching toll of enormous loss as well as the minutiae of ordinary lives derailed. I was often stunned and brought to tears. Historically speaking, this is an important read, but it is also a testament to the best facets of human nature: heroism in the face of danger, and the ability to rise up after unthinkable tragedy.
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was an intense, absorbing, and heartbreaking read. Despite the incredible amount of information that is covered the book is surprisingly easy to read. It follows basically a chronological order of that day--all the flights, the miscommunication and confusion as the world tried to figure out what was going on, the crashes, and the aftermath.

After the last chapter the book includes names of the people who lost their lives on that day--there are pages and pages of names in small print--2 colu
Kennedy Ormsby
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
Man, this book was brutal. It’s so incredibly emotional to read and I cried through a majority of it.

The story of 9/11 you haven’t heard, coming from the people who survived in the buildings and on the ground, as well as evidence from voicemails and phone calls from the people on the planes and in the affected areas.

Not only do you read the stories from that horrible day, but you really get to know the victims before their untimely deaths. You heard about their plans for the weekend and the la
Michelle Reilly
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh my God

I couldn’t put this book down. A must read. One of the best - if not the best - books I’ve ever read. Incredibly thorough, it’ll leave you either fist pumping in the air at all the heroes from 9/11 or bawling your eyes out. It’s everything. A must read.
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Quote from the author that I found on Goodreads:

Nearly five years ago, it became apparent to me that a clear and troubling gap existed on the crowded shelf of 9/11 books. Many of the books already published were excellent, but no one volume told the complete narrative of the day itself, covering key events, issues, and timelines (all four hijackings, the immediate results of the crashes, and the initial chaotic military and government response). I also thought it particularly import/>
Neville Longbottom
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, 2019
I was 10 years old on September 11, 2001. I distinctly remember overhearing two teachers talking about a plane flying into the World Trade Center. At the time I didn’t fully understand what that meant. As the day went on, seeing the news footage of burning buildings with people jumping and falling out of windows, I began to grasp how serious the situation was. Over the years I’ve learned many things about the events of that day, mostly through documentaries or TV programs. But I’ve never read so ...more
Holly Minion
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Even 19 years later, I cannot watch or read anything about 9/11 without crying. And reading this book helped me to figure out why. It was the first and, for many, only time we have ever watched people die right in front of us in real time. This book gave so many names and backstories to those people.

This book is so well written. It takes a confusing day and puts it into a mostly linear timeline giving anecdotes about various people along the way. I learned new information about how the FAA and
Matt Betts
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book should be read by everyone. So incredible. So moving. So important.
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book on 9/11. The whole book is concentrated on that day but still there are a lot of information in behind. Learned quite a bit.
Really powerful.
Mitchell Zuckoff beautifully described a lots of love, commitment, dedication and sacrifice in his fellows Americans. Outstanding.
Peter Colclasure
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was emotionally draining, to say the least. The author is a Boston Globe reporter, who spent a decade researching and writing this book. He introduces nearly a hundred individuals, passengers on the four hijacked airplanes, family members, workers in the Pentagon and World Trade Center, air traffic controllers, NORAD pilots, first responders at Shanksville, and New York firefighters. Even if you have difficulty keeping the names straight, the cumulative effect is still powerful, a tape ...more
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing

This is the best non-fiction book of all-time for me.

A few times in our lives we remember where they were when first hearing important news.

The 9/11 terrorist attacks is one of them.

We all saw those horrific and unthinkable images in the media and tried to imagine what it would be like to be there.

This book puts the reader on site through the descriptions of people who were there. The author describes life before, during and after t
Nancy Singel Baker
A terribly heart-breaking read that brings the reader immediately back to the day that changed our world. Such stories of bravery, heroism, love of family, loss needed to be told. Readers too young to remember 9/11, this book will tell you exactly what that day felt like.
Cindy H.
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you Mitchell Zuckoff and Harper Collins audio for presenting the most comprehensive yet compassionate account of September 11, 2001. No words can adequately describe the beauty and heartbreak that these pages contain. Many times I was brought to tears. A moving and elegant tribute to victims, survivors, rescue workers, responders,loved ones, and ordinary citizens who played either a large part or small part that day. Even during the darkest of times, human kindness shone bright. This audio ...more
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Riveting read. The accounts of the happenings in the sky and on the ground on this day highlight the horror of this attack on America, but also the extraordinary bravery, courage, and selflessness of so many Americans on this horrible day. A book I’ll remember long after I put it down.
Esta Doutrich
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Normally not the type of book I would choose to pick up in this stage of life, but I grabbed it off the New Book shelf the morning of a long road trip. And I cannot speak highly enough of it. How Zuckoff manages to write, minute by minute, well researched journalism interwoven with countless individual’s stories is incredible and moving. The importance of this book reminded me of Dave Cullen’s Columbine—coming in, years after a tragedy to give the clear and accurate story with the clarity of tim ...more
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Play Book Tag: Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11 5 stars 4 15 Sep 25, 2019 04:11PM  
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Mitchell Zuckoff is a professor of journalism at Boston University. He is the author of Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II. His previous books are: Robert Altman: The Oral Biography, one of's "Best Books of 2009"; Ponzi's Scheme: The True Story of a Financial Legend, a New York Times Editors' Choice book; and Ch ...more
“she was a bookkeeper for the Port Authority, one week shy of her sixtieth birthday. She had limped down about one thousand steps from the 73rd floor, hobbled by fallen arches, a bad leg from having been hit by a car several months earlier, and assorted maladies. An office manager and others had helped Josephine to get this far, but she could go no farther and had sent her helpers ahead to safety. Now she was alone.” 0 likes
“No one on the radio told him that responders could devote unlimited manpower to the fourteen people inside Stairwell B because they comprised the largest single group of known survivors.” 0 likes
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