The History Book Club discussion


Comments Showing 1-50 of 61 (61 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 25, 2011 11:48AM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
This is a thread dedicated to the September 11th attack though not a battle or a war was a highly provocative act which led to some.

We still remember the innocent victims of this act every year and in our prayers.

message 2: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) This is not a subject that I have read much about but I do have two books that I want to read covering this terrible incident and below are some details on one of those books:

Firefight Inside the Battle to Save the Pentagon on 9/11 by Patrick Creed by Patrick Creed
Amid all the stories of tragedy and heroism on September 11, there is one tale that has yet to be told–the gripping account of ordinary men and women braving the inferno at the Pentagon to rescue friends and co-workers, save the nation’s military headquarters, and defend their country.

Pentagon firefighters Alan Wallace and Mark Skipper had just learned the shocking news that planes had struck the World Trade Center when they saw something equally inconceivable: a twin-engine jetliner flying straight at them. It was American Airlines Flight 77, rushing toward its target. In his Pentagon office, Army major David King was planning a precautionary evacuation when the room suddenly erupted in flames. Arlington firefighters Derek Spector, Brian Roache, and Ron Christman, among the first responders at the scene, were stunned by the sight that met them: a huge flaming hole gouged into the Pentagon’s side, a lawn strewn with smoking debris, and thousands of people, some badly injured, stumbling away from what would become one of the most daunting fires in American history.

For more than twenty-four hours, Arlington firefighters and other crews faced some of the most dangerous and unusual circumstances imaginable. The size and structure of the Pentagon itself presented unique challenges, compelling firefighters to devise ingenious tactics and make bold decisions–until they finally extinguished the fire that threatened to cripple America’s military infrastructure just when it was needed most.

Granted unprecedented access to the major players in the valiant response efforts, Patrick Creed and Rick Newman take us step-by-step through the harrowing minutes, hours, and days following the crash of American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon’s western façade. Providing fascinating personal stories of the firefighters and rescuers, a broader view of how the U.S. national security command structure was held intact, and a sixteen-page insert of dramatic photographs, Firefight is a unique testament to the fortitude and resilience of America.

"Firefight is a gripping human drama and a powerful story–not to mention a significant addition to the annals of American history." - David Morrell, (author of First Blood)

"Overshadowed by the calamity in New York, the attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, was nonetheless a day of extraordinary drama, heroism, and tragedy. With riveting detail and a compelling narrative, Patrick Creed and Rick Newman have done a superb job in Firefight of capturing the courage, chaos, and sacrifice of that remarkable day." - Steve Vogel, (author of The Pentagon: A History)

"A gripping inside look at the swift actions taken by a small group of firefighters who saved the Pentagon from destruction." - Bing West, (author of No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah)

"Firefight presents a different view of September 11, getting into the actions and mindsets of both the firefighters and the military in Washington D.C. A powerful read." - Richard Picciotto, (co-author of Last Man Down: A New York City Fire Chief and the Collapse of the World Trade Center)

"Firefight does an excellent job of showing the unique issues presented when the heart of America’s military was attacked on September 11, 2001. As I read this book, I felt a brotherhood with the courageous professionals at the scene of the Pentagon and their need to ameliorate the suffering of others." - Lt. William Keegan, Jr., PAPD., (author of Closure: The Untold Story of the Ground Zero Recovery Mission)

"This little-known but equally horrifying story of 9/11 will raise the hair on your neck and add to the historical outrage inspired by these senseless murders. The firefighters are seen in grit and in heroism as they fight their way through the Pentagon flames to contain the fires, triage the wounded, interrelate with the FBI, and search for the all-important black boxes. Read this book to remind yourself just how shocked you were that day." - Dennis Smith, (chairman of First Responders Financial and author of Report from Ground Zero)

"It took only eight-tenths of a second for American Airlines Flight 77 to strike the outer wall of the Pentagon, penetrate the concentric E, D and C Rings, collapse upon itself like an accordion and ignite chaos. The jet spewed thousands of gallons of fuel through hallways, offices and meeting rooms inside the nation's premier defense installation -- into every place that airborne mist could go on the wings of an enormous shock wave. A series of explosions sent an ominous mushroom-shaped cloud into the air.

The aircraft had punched a hole 90 feet wide at the entry point, then compressed into a bullet-like shape and burrowed 310 feet, or about twice its length, into the building. Its speed decelerated from 530 miles an hour to zero in less than a second. The bodies of the five hijackers were found about 100 feet from the point of impact; most of the bodies of the 59 passengers and crew, who had been herded to the rear of the plane, carried farther into the building. The final death toll included 125 Pentagon employees.

Because the fire got under a thick slab of concrete covering the roof, flames burned for three more days. The repercussions of that day, though, will be felt for decades. In the same way that a previous generation remembers the Kennedy assassination, many Washingtonians will forever remember where they were standing, what they were doing and thinking, when they learned of the Pentagon attack and felt the shock of a terrible vulnerability.

The Pentagon attack understandably has received less attention than the destruction of the World Trade Center towers in Manhattan and United Airlines Flight 93 in a grassy field in Pennsylvania; the first was far more catastrophic, the second a more compact drama. After all, the Pentagon opened for business the next day, Sept. 12. For the onlooker, only one wedge of the Pentagon's five sections appeared to be involved, though about 40 percent of the building eventually received damage and smoke invaded every cranny.

Yet vital facilities were compromised. It took hours for a secret backup facility to be made operational to replace the destroyed National Military Command Center. Top secret documents were strewn everywhere, prompting fears that enemy agents would scoop them up. Flames came close to destroying equipment on the roof whose loss would have shut down the entire building.

The direst scenarios did not come to pass, however, thanks to hundreds of firefighters, medics, FBI agents and military and civilian personnel. Heroes came in all shapes and sizes, from a vintage fire truck small enough to squeeze into the Pentagon's central courtyard to generals willing to forget their stars. Most people run from fire. At the Pentagon, military and civilian personnel rushed into the building to save others and protect vital information. A four-star Army general with 20 soldiers at his back got into a wrestling match with a firefighter who had been ordered to keep people out of the building. The firefighter won, and the general apologized. Capt. Jennifer Glidewell, an Army nurse at a Pentagon clinic, went to the central courtyard as it began to fill with wounded and found herself, momentarily, the ranking medical officer. She took charge, but after a few minutes a three-star Air Force general approached. He was a doctor, he told the captain, and asked where she needed him.

There were screw-ups, of course. D.C. Fire Department officials sent too much equipment, established separate command facilities and then ducked out early. But after three grueling days, the firefighters had saved the Pentagon - and done the job safely: Not one emergency worker was seriously injured.

It took five years for authors Patrick Creed, a volunteer firefighter and Army officer, and Rick Newman, a writer for U.S. News and World Report, to pull together this story. Combing public records and conducting 150 interviews, Creed and Newman have done a monumental reporting job. Firefight tells the tale moment by moment through the accounts of dozens of participants and eye-witnesses. The book needed an editor with a sharper blue pencil - it's too long, and the writing can be monotonous. Not unlike the heroes whose stories they tell, however, Creed and Newman faced a daunting challenge, rose to the occasion and rescued a piece of history from the ashes." - Reviewed by John N. Maclean (The Washington Post)

message 3: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) The second book that I have which covers a different aspect of 9/11 is; "Watching the World Change: The Stories Behind the Images of 9/11" by David Friend.

Watching the World Change by David Friend (no cover) Watching the World Change by David Friend
Watching the World Change is a gripping visual chronicle of America’s darkest week, in which the stories behind the most striking images of the towers’ fall and its aftermath reveal the nature of our image-saturated society.

The terrorist attack on the World Trade Center was the most universally observed event in human history—with several billion people seeing the two towers burn and fall on television and the Internet and then in newspapers and magazines. That the event was so visual is owing to the people who, facing disaster, were compelled to take photographs of it: imperiled office workers carrying point-and-shoot cameras; horrified tourists; professional photographers risking their lives; traumatized family members; government officials charged with recording the devastation and identifying the dead. Conceived by Osama Bin Laden as a diabolical visual event—the toppling of an image of America right before the world’s eyes—the destruction of the Twin Towers swiftly came to be defined by photography, as families posted snapshots of their loved ones, police sought terrorists’ faces on security-camera videotapes, and the Bush administration devised images of presidential heroism to counter the chaotic initial moments after the attack.

In Watching the World Change, David Friend tells the stories behind forty of the photographs that altered our sense of our world forever—from the happenstance shots taken by bystanders in the moments after the first tower was struck to the scene of three firefighters raising the Stars and Stripes at the site that evening, which has become a ubiquitous image of American resilience. He tells unforgettable stories of photographers and rescuers, victims and survivors. He shows how breakneck advances in television, digital photography, and the Internet produced an effect whereby the whole world was watching the terrible events at the same time. He explores the controversy about whether images of 9/11 are redemptive or exploitative; and he shows how photographs, and the human images at the center of them, help us to witness, to grieve, and finally to understand the unimaginable.

"Friend, Emmy Award-winning executive director of the documentary 9/11, offers a perspective on the terrorist attack from the actions and emotions of photographers on hand that day. Pros and amateurs, fashion photographers and news photographers--some wrestling with the ethics of photographing such a tragedy, others gladly taking advantage of being in the right place at the right time for a once-in-a-lifetime shot--recall the harrowing physical and emotional positions they took to get their shots with Leicas, Mamiyas, and disposable cameras. A photographer who was at home when the nearby World Trade Center was struck started taking shots, then put down her camera in favor of her rescue skills and equipment. Others recall focusing on the humans in the foreground, providing perspective and registering their own emotions and sense of personal danger. From the iconic photo of three firefighters raising the American flag at ground zero to photos of the missing that were posted in the days and weeks following the disaster, this compelling book demonstrates the power and pathos of an unforgettable event." - Vanessa Bush (Booklist)

"Friend, a former director of photography at Life and currently editor of creative development at Vanity Fair, writes: 'For many of us, photos are the glue we use to hold in place the disjointed bits of fiction and fact that make up the stories of our lives.' In this important analysis of how images of 9/11 and the 'war on terror' have altered our understanding of power, world politics, religion and identity, he successfully merges reportage and analysis as he interprets the images of falling towers, panic in Manhattan streets and prisoners at Abu Ghraib that have been burned into our brains. But Friend elevates the book to a higher level with his iridescent commentary on the broad political and philosophical implications of 9/11 photography. For example, he recognizes the need to identify victims of a disaster as well as the Orwellian impulses in potential federal programs to create national photo ID cards. And he takes on such complicated issues as self-censorship in the media and how the Bush administration quickly learned how to use images to kick-start and maintain the war on terror. Lucidly written and urgently argued, this essential book is a valuable addition to literature on contemporary media and current politics." - Publishers Weekly

message 4: by Patricrk (new)

Patricrk patrick | 435 comments 'Aussie Rick' wrote: "This is not a subject that I have read much about but I do have two books that I want to read covering this terrible incident and below are some details on one of those books:


This is an excellent read. I recommend it highly.

message 5: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Hi Patricrk, good to hear that you have read it and can recommend it. I will have to try hard to get it to the top of my 'to-read' list as it does look like a very interesting account.

Firefight Inside the Battle to Save the Pentagon on 9/11 by Patrick Creed by Patrick Creed

message 6: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) I've just stumbled across this new book that is due out for release very soon; "The 11th Day" by Anthony Summers.

The 11th Day by Anthony Summers by Anthony Summers
September 11 2001 is a date no-one can forget. On that day, the largest terrorist attack the world had ever seen sent two passenger aircraft crashing into New York’s famous twin towers, a third into the Pentagon, and a fourth, believed to be headed for the White House, crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. Three thousand people lost their lives that day. And the world changed forever.

The consequences of those attacks have shaped the first years of the twenty-first century.The world is a less safe place because of them. War in Afghanistan and Iraq followed. Thousands more have now died. But what exactly happened on that day ten years ago? Reports have been written and dismissed. Conspiracy theories abound.

This book has been four years in the writing. Leading investigative writer, Anthony Summers has pored through thousands of documents, hundreds of hours of interviews, and examined all possible testimony and evidence to produce this definitive history of what really happened on that tragic day.

message 7: by 'Aussie Rick' (last edited Sep 19, 2011 08:34PM) (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Just found this book in case it interests anybody here:

The Black Banners 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda by Ali H. Soufan by Ali H. Soufan
On September 11, 2001, FBI Special Agent Ali H. Soufan was handed a secret file. Had he received it months earlier—when it was requested—the attacks on New York and Washington could have been prevented. During his time on the front lines, Soufan helped thwart plots around the world and elicited some of the most important confessions from terrorists in the war against al-Qaeda—without laying so much as a hand on them. Most of these stories have never been reported before, and never by anyone with such intimate firsthand knowledge.

This narrative account of America's successes and failures against al-Qaeda is essential to an understanding of the terrorist group. We are taken into hideouts and interrogation rooms. We have a ringside seat at bin Laden's personal celebration of the 9/11 bombings. Such riveting details show us not only how terrorists think and operate but also how they can be beaten and brought to justice.

message 8: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Just stumbled across this new book on a incident which has not been written about before, although a few months before 9/11 I am sure it will interest those who which to read on the subject:

Front Burner Al Qaeda's Attack on the USS Cole by Kirk Lippold by Kirk Lippold
On October 12, 2000, eleven months before the 9/11 attacks, the USS Cole docked in the port of Aden in Yemen for a routine fueling stop. At 1118, on a hot, sunny morning, the 8,400-ton destroyer was rocked by an enormous explosion. The ship’s commander, Kirk Lippold, felt the ship violently thrust up and to the right, as everything not bolted down seemed to float in midair. Tiles tumbled from the ceiling, and the ship was plunged into darkness, beginning to sink. In a matter of moments Lippold knew that the Cole had been attacked. What he didn’t know was how much the world was changing around him.

The bombing of the Cole was al Qaeda’s first direct assault against the United States and expanded their brazen and deadly string of terrorist attacks throughout the Middle East. In this gripping first-person narrative, Lippold reveals the details of this harrowing experience leading his crew of valiant sailors through the attack and its aftermath. Seventeen sailors died in the explosion and thirty-seven were wounded—but thanks to the valor of the crew in the perilous days that followed, the ship was saved.

Yet even with al Qaeda’s intentions made clear in an unmistakable act of war, the United States government delayed retaliating. Bureaucrats and politicians sought to shift and pin blame as they ignored the danger signaled by the attack, shirking responsibility until the event was ultimately overshadowed by 9/11.

Front Burner captures a critical moment in America’s battle against al Qaeda, telling a vital story that has—until now—been lost in the fog of the war on terror.

message 9: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig This looks good:

Intel Wars: The Secret History of the Fight Against Terror

Intel Wars The Secret History of the Fight Against Terror by Matthew M. Aid Matthew M. Aid


Spendthrift, schizophrenic policies and a massive, multi-tiered bureaucracy more focused on preserving secrets than on mission accomplishment leave our intelligence operatives drowning in raw data, resource-starved, and choked on paperwork, according to a new book, Intel Wars: The Secret History of the Fight Against Terror (Bloomsbury Press, 2012), by intelligence historian Matthew Aid. Excerpts from the book and declassified documents cited in it were posted today by the National Security Archive, where Aid is a Visiting Fellow.

Even after the celebrated raid by U.S. Navy SEAL commandos in May 2011, which killed al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, America's spies are still struggling to beat a host of ragtag enemies around the world, Aid argues.

Thanks to more than $500 billion in taxpayer dollars spent on revamping and modernizing America's spy networks since 9/11, the U.S. today has the largest and most technologically sophisticated intelligence community in the world, consisting of 210,000 employees, CIA stations in 170 countries, and an annual budget of more than $75 billion. Armed with cutting-edge surveillance gear, high-tech weapons, and fleets of armed and unarmed drone aircraft, the U.S. intelligence community is now producing more and better intelligence than at any time in its history.

But, according to Aid, overlapping jurisdictions and bureaucratic inertia often stall intelligence operations, such as U.S. military operators in Afghanistan who have to wait seventy-two hours for clearance to attack fast-moving Taliban IED teams planting explosive devices. U.S. military computers – their classified hard drives still in place – turn up for sale at Afghan bazaars. When you dig beneath the surface, swift, tightly focused intelligence-driven operations like the Osama bin Laden raid seem to be the exception rather than the rule, Aid concludes.

Intel Wars – based on extensive, on-the-ground interviews, dozens of declassified documents, and revelations from Wikileaks cables – shows how our soldier-spies are still fighting to catch up with the enemy.

message 10: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (last edited Sep 25, 2012 04:01PM) (new)

Jerome | 4375 comments Mod
This here was REALLY good, highly recommended:

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

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


A sweeping narrative history of the events leading to 9/11, a groundbreaking look at the people and ideas, the terrorist plans and the Western intelligence failures that culminated in the assault on America. Lawrence Wright’s remarkable book is based on five years of research and hundreds of interviews that he conducted in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, England, France, Germany, Spain, and the United States.

The Looming Tower achieves an unprecedented level of intimacy and insight by telling the story through the interweaving lives of four men: the two leaders of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri; the FBI’s counterterrorism chief, John O’Neill; and the former head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Turki al-Faisal.

As these lives unfold, we see revealed: the crosscurrents of modern Islam that helped to radicalize Zawahiri and bin Laden . . . the birth of al-Qaeda and its unsteady development into an organization capable of the American embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania and the attack on the USS Cole . . . O’Neill’s heroic efforts to track al-Qaeda before 9/11, and his tragic death in the World Trade towers . . . Prince Turki’s transformation from bin Laden’s ally to his enemy . . . the failures of the FBI, CIA, and NSA to share intelligence that might have prevented the 9/11 attacks.

The Looming Tower broadens and deepens our knowledge of these signal events by taking us behind the scenes. Here is Sayyid Qutb, founder of the modern Islamist movement, lonely and despairing as he meets Western culture up close in 1940s America; the privileged childhoods of bin Laden and Zawahiri; family life in the al-Qaeda compounds of Sudan and Afghanistan; O’Neill’s high-wire act in balancing his all-consuming career with his equally entangling personal life—he was living with three women, each of them unaware of the others’ existence—and the nitty-gritty of turf battles among U.S. intelligence agencies.

Brilliantly conceived and written, The Looming Tower draws all elements of the story into a galvanizing narrative that adds immeasurably to our understanding of how we arrived at September 11, 2001. The richness of its new information, and the depth of its perceptions, can help us deal more wisely and effectively with the continuing terrorist threat.

message 11: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
What a brilliant citation and synopsis - good format Jerome. You may want to type the book title in bold above the citation like Bryan does in message 9 and you will have the moderator's format down to perfection (smile)

message 12: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Peter stated:

Not a book, but maybe it's apropos for me to note that I was in 2 WTC when the plane hit. Not a day I will forget

Peter, it must have been frightful. I have lost neighbors that day and it is a situation that is not forgotten. Being there is much worse.

message 13: by Peter (new)

Peter Flom Ah, a fellow NYer!

Actually, no one I knew died, and I got home fairly easily. But it was a strange time.

message 14: by Craig (new)

Craig (twinstuff) Jerome,

Let me repeat the praise from Bentley. Your writing style is very crisp and professional. I've enjoyed Wright's articles in The New Yorker and also liked his book on twins, (a subject near and dear to me). Your synopsis of this book made me add it to my list of books I want to read.

Twins Genes, Environment And The Mystery Of Human Identity by Lawrence Wright by Lawrence Wright Lawrence Wright

message 15: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Peter wrote: "Ah, a fellow NYer!

Actually, no one I knew died, and I got home fairly easily. But it was a strange time."

Strange and unforgettable.

message 16: by Tacman (new)

Tacman | 15 comments I just watched an episode of a TV show that I think is called "History's Mysteries" about the incident in WWII where a B52 crashed into the Empire State building.

Amazing parallels to 9/11 in terms of heroism of firefighters who carried their equipment up 79 stories to fight the fire and the horrific impact on the building. The plane went all the way through the building and was destroyed in the process. It had 6000 gallons of aviation fuel.

The biggest difference. The empire State building DIDN'T come down. I still think the entire engineering story of the Towers is yet to be told.

message 17: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4375 comments Mod
The First Responders: The Untold Story of the New York City Police Department & Sept 11, 2001

The First Responders The Untold Story of the New York City Police Department & Sept 11, 2001 by Anthea Appel by Anthea Appel

On the morning of September 11th, 2001, two hijacked jetliners crashed into the Twin Towers. Within minutes of the attack, 36 Emergency Service Unit cops of the NYPD responded to the scene. They divided into six Teams. The first five Teams entered the Towers, and the sixth Team headed for the helicopters to attempt a daring air rescue. 14 of them would not survive. For the first time, here are the details of what the Emergency Service Unit teams did and saw as they climbed the burning Towers. Burden down with heavy equipment they searched for terrorist "sleepers," and survivors. Then the first Tower collapsed. Fearing that a second collapse was imminent, the firefighters and the police were ordered to evacuate. Now,the countdown began. In the harrowing final minutes, the police teams encountered everything from the absurd---including, the arrest of a mysterious man in the North Tower---to terrifying close calls. As the second Tower fell, tensions flared, bonds are formed, friends are lost, and tough and street-wise cops learn the true meaning of duty and heroism. In this book, other stories from the NYPD include the rescue of two Port Authority cops, P.O. Will Jimeno and Sgt. John McLoughlin, who were buried under the collapse of the South Tower; the first flag raising, and the nine-month search and rescue---and then recovery---at Ground Zero. These important and powerful stories have never been told ... until now. Are You Aware?

message 18: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Thanks for the addition, Jerome.

message 19: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4375 comments Mod
This is by one of the members of the 9/11 commission:

The Ground Truth: The Untold Story of America Under Attack on 9/11

The Ground Truth The Untold Story of America Under Attack on 9/11 by John Farmer by John Farmer


As one of the primary authors of the 9/11 Commission Report, John Farmer is proud of his and his colleagues work. Yet h'e came away from the experience convinced that there was a further story to be told, one he was uniquely qualified to write.

Now that story can be told. Tape recordings, transcripts, and contemporaneous records that had been classified have since been declassified, and the inspector general?s investigations of government conduct have been completed. Drawing on his knowledge of those sources, as well as his years as an attorney in public and private practice, Farmer reconstructs the truth of what happened on that fateful day and the disastrous circumstances that allowed it: the institutionalized disconnect between what those on the ground knew and what those in power did. He details terrifyingly and illuminatingly?the key moments in the years, months, weeks, and days that preceded the attacks, then descends almost in real time through the attacks themselves, portraying them as they have never before been seen.

Ultimately, Farmer builds the inescapably convincing case that the official version not only is almost entirely untrue but serves to create a false impression of order and security. The ground truth that Farmer captures suggests a very different scenario,one that is doomed to be repeated unless the systemic failures he reveals are confronted and remedied.

message 20: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4375 comments Mod
This here is by the chairs of the 9/11 commission:

Without Precedent The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission by Thomas H. Kean by Thomas H. Kean


The untold story of how the 9/11 Commission overcame partisanship and bureaucracy to produce its acclaimed report.

From the beginning, the 9/11 Commission found itself facing obstacles — the Bush administration blocked its existence for months, the first co-chairs resigned right away, the budget was limited, and a polarized Washington was suspicious of its every request. Yet despite these long odds, the Commission produced a bestselling report unanimously hailed for its objectivity, along with a set of recommendations that led to the most significant reform of America’s national security agencies in decades. This is a riveting insider’s account of Washington at its worst — and its best.

message 21: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4375 comments Mod
Touching History: The Untold Story of the Drama that Unfolded in the Skies Over America on 9/11

Touching History The Untold Story of the Drama that Unfolded in the Skies Over America on 9/11 by Lynn Spencer by Lynn Spencer


A nonfiction thriller chronicling moment to moment the riveting untold story of the drama that unfolded in the skies over America on 9/11 as the FAA, the military, and thousands of commercial pilots called on all of their rigorous training and their reserves of patriotism and courage to improvise a heroic response to the first attacks on American soil since Pearl Harbor and contend with a whole new kind of war in the skies.

message 22: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4375 comments Mod
102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers

102 Minutes The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers by Jim Dwyer by Jim Dwyer


At 8:46 am on September 11, 2001, 14,000 people were inside the twin towers-reading e-mails, making trades, eating croissants at Windows on the World. Over the next 102 minutes, each would become part of a drama for the ages, one witnessed only by the people who lived it-until now.

Of the millions of words written about this wrenching day, most were told from the outside looking in. New York Times reporters Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn have taken the opposite-and far more revealing-approach. Reported from the perspectives of those inside the towers, 102 Minutes captures the little-known stories of ordinary people who took extraordinary steps to save themselves and others. Beyond this stirring panorama stands investigative reporting of the first rank. An astounding number of people actually survived the plane impacts but were unable to escape, and the authors raise hard questions about building safety and tragic flaws in New York's emergency preparedness.

Dwyer and Flynn rely on hundreds of interviews with rescuers, thousands of pages of oral histories, and countless phone, e-mail, and emergency radio transcripts. They cross a bridge of voices to go inside the infernos, seeing cataclysm and heroism, one person at a time, to tell the affecting, authoritative saga of the men and women-the nearly 12,000 who escaped and the 2,749 who perished-as they made 102 minutes count as never before.

message 23: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Thanks Jerome.

message 24: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4375 comments Mod
This isn't specifically about 9/11 but it was a gripping read nevertheless:

The Hunt for KSM: Inside the Pursuit and Takedown of the Real 9/11 Mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

The Hunt for KSM Inside the Pursuit and Takedown of the Real 9/11 Mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed by Terry McDermott by Terry McDermott Terry McDermott


Only minutes after United 175 plowed into the World Trade Center's South Tower, people in positions of power correctly suspected who was behind the assault: Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. But it would be 18 months after September 11 before investigators would capture the actual mastermind of the attacks, the man behind bin Laden himself.

That monster is the man who got his hands dirty while Osama fled; the man who was responsible for setting up Al Qaeda's global networks, who personally identified and trained its terrorists, and who personally flew bomb parts on commercial airlines to test their invisibility. That man withstood waterboarding and years of other intense interrogations, not only denying Osama's whereabouts but making a literal game of the proceedings, after leading his pursuers across the globe and back. That man is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and he is still, to this day, the most significant Al Qaeda terrorist in captivity.

In THE HUNT FOR KSM, Terry McDermott and Josh Meyer go deep inside the US government's dogged but flawed pursuit of this elusive and dangerous man. One pair of agents chased him through countless false leads and narrow escapes for five years before 9/11. And now, drawing on a decade of investigative reporting and unprecedented access to hundreds of key sources, many of whom have never spoken publicly-as well as jihadis and members of KSM's family and support network-this is a heart-pounding trip inside the dangerous, classified world of counterterrorism and espionage.

message 25: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4375 comments Mod
This wasn't bad, either:

The Longest War: A History of the War on Terror and the Battles with Al Qaeda Since 9/11

The Longest War A History of the War on Terror and the Battles with Al Qaeda Since 9/11 by Peter L. Bergen by Peter L. Bergen Peter L. Bergen


TEN YEARS HAVE PASSED since the shocking attacks on the World Trade Center, and after seven years of conflict, the last U.S. combat troops left Iraq--only to move into Afghanistan, where the ten-year-old fight continues: the war on terror rages with no clear end in sight. In "The Longest War "Peter Bergen offers a comprehensive history of this war and its evolution, from the strategies devised in the wake of the 9/11 attacks to the fighting in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and beyond. Unlike any other book on this subject, here Bergen tells the story of this shifting war's failures and successes from the perspectives of both the United States and al-Qaeda and its allies. He goes into the homes of al-Qaeda members, rooting into the source of their devotion to terrorist causes, and spends time in the offices of the major players shaping the U.S. strategic efforts in the region. At a time when many are frustrated or fatigued with what has become an enduring multigenerational conflict, this book will provide an illuminating narrative that not only traces the arc of the fight but projects its likely future. Weaving together internal documents from al-Qaeda and the U.S. offices of counterterrorism, first-person interviews with top-level jihadists and senior Washington officials, along with his own experiences on the ground in the Middle East, Bergen balances the accounts of each side, revealing how al-Qaeda has evolved since 9/11 and the specific ways the U.S. government has responded in the ongoing fight.

Bergen also uncovers the strategic errors committed on both sides--the way that al-Qaeda's bold attack on the United States on 9/11 actually undermined its objective and caused the collapse of the Taliban and the destruction of the organization's safe haven in Afghanistan, and how al-Qaeda is actually losing the war of ideas in the Muslim world. The book also shows how the United States undermined its moral position in this war with its actions at Guantanamo and coercive interrogations--including the extraordinary rendition of Abu Omar, who was kidnapped by the CIA in Milan in 2003 and was tortured for four years in Egyptian prisons; his case represents the first and only time that CIA officials have been charged and convicted of the crime of kidnapping.

In examining other strategic blunders the United States has committed, Bergen offers a scathing critique of the Clinton and Bush administrations' inability to accurately assess and counter the al-Qaeda threat, Bush's deeply misguided reasons for invading Iraq--including the story of how the invasion was launched based, in part, on the views of an obscure academic who put forth theories about Iraq's involvement with al-Qaeda--and the Obama administration's efforts in Afghanistan.

At a critical moment in world history "The Longest War "provides the definitive account of the ongoing battle against terror.

message 26: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4375 comments Mod
This was superb, I would HIGHLY recommend it:

Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of al Qa'ida since 9/11

Hunting in the Shadows The Pursuit of al Qa'ida since 9/11 The Pursuit of al Qa'ida since 9/11 by Seth G. Jones by Seth G. Jones


This comprehensive, landmark history chronicles our ongoing battle against al-Qa’ida, the greatest threat the West has faced in the modern era. An internationally recognized authority on terrorism and counterinsurgency, Seth G. Jones presents a dramatic narrative of the on-the-ground police work; the elaborate, multiyear investigations led by the CIA, FBI, and Britain’s MI5; and the shifting and deadly alliances between terrorist groups that have characterized the conflict. With gripping detail he recounts the against-the-clock hunt for the Times Square bomber and reveals startling information about Osama bin Laden’s behavior during his final days. Drawing on recently declassified documents and court materials, transcripts of wiretapped conversations, and interviews with current and former government officials from the United States and key allies, Jones navigates the “waves” (al Qa’ida attacks) and “reverse waves” (successful efforts to disrupt al’Qa’ida), explaining how we might analyze past patterns in order to successfully counter al Qa’ida and its allies in the future.

message 27: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Jerome, great additions.

message 28: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
I have to echo Alisa's comments Jerome - great adds.

message 29: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4375 comments Mod
Flight 93: The Story, the Aftermath, and the Legacy of American Courage on 9/11

Flight 93 The Story, the Aftermath, and the Legacy of American Courage on 9/11 by Tom McMillan by Tom McMillan (no photo)


United Airlines Flight 93, which took off from Newark Airport the morning of September 11th, 2001, is perhaps the most famous flight in modern American history: We know of the passenger uprising, but there’s so much more to the story besides its harrowing and oft-told climax. Amazingly, the definitive account of this seminal event has yet to be written.

The book offers the most complete account of what actually took place aboard Flight 93 – from its delayed takeoff in Newark to the moment it plunged upside-down at 563 miles per hour into an open field in rural Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Flight 93 provides a riveting and complete narrative of the lead-up, event, and aftermath of the flight, based on interviews, oral histories, personal tours of the crash site and evidence recently made public. It examines the lead-up to that horrific morning; the stories of the victims who were launched into the center of history; the revolt that saved untold amounts of carnage on the ground and likely, the US Capitol; the eyewitnesses and first responders who rushed to the crash scene; the impact on family members; the effort to uncover evidence at the site; and the legacy the story leaves for future generations.

message 30: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4375 comments Mod
Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI, and the Origins of 9/11

Spying Blind The CIA, the FBI, and the Origins of 9/11 by Amy B. Zegart by Amy B. Zegart (no photo)


In this pathbreaking book, Amy Zegart provides the first scholarly examination of the intelligence failures that preceded September 11. Until now, those failures have been attributed largely to individual mistakes. But Zegart shows how and why the intelligence system itself left us vulnerable.

Zegart argues that after the Cold War ended, the CIA and FBI failed to adapt to the rise of terrorism. She makes the case by conducting painstaking analysis of more than three hundred intelligence reform recommendations and tracing the history of CIA and FBI counterterrorism efforts from 1991 to 2001, drawing extensively from declassified government documents and interviews with more than seventy high-ranking government officials. She finds that political leaders were well aware of the emerging terrorist danger and the urgent need for intelligence reform, but failed to achieve the changes they sought. The same forces that have stymied intelligence reform for decades are to blame: resistance inside U.S. intelligence agencies, the rational interests of politicians and career bureaucrats, and core aspects of our democracy such as the fragmented structure of the federal government. Ultimately failures of adaptation led to failures of performance. Zegart reveals how longstanding organizational weaknesses left unaddressed during the 1990s prevented the CIA and FBI from capitalizing on twenty-three opportunities to disrupt the September 11 plot.

Spying Blind is a sobering account of why two of America's most important intelligence agencies failed to adjust to new threats after the Cold War, and why they are unlikely to adapt in the future.

message 31: by Jill (last edited Jan 26, 2015 07:12PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Words are not necessary. We will never forget this image.

Here is a video of Aaron Brown, late of CNN, reporting the collapse of the second tower.

message 32: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
No we will not.

message 33: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Mark Knopfler wrote this song after hearing of some of the last telephone calls made to loved ones by those trapped in the towers. It is heartbreaking.

If This is Goodbye by Mark Knopler and Emmy Lou Harris

message 34: by Jill (last edited Apr 15, 2015 08:23PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Ten stories of the amazing heroism of first responders as the towers were crashing around them.

Heroes Of 9/11

Heroes Of 9/11 (Ten True Tales) by Allan Zullo by Allan Zullo Allan Zullo


The first responders on September 11, 2001 — firefighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, military officers and even many civilians — risked their lives to save people they didn't know. Every one of them is a hero. This book features ten gripping stories that reflect the countless breathtaking acts of heroism that occurred inside the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a hijacked plane. Among other amazing true accounts, you will read about the miraculous survival of the fire captain and his men who were buried alive when the north tower collapsed... the cop who dodged death twice to help save others... and the two navy officers who ran into a burning, crumbling section of the Pentagon to rescue a trapped worker.

message 35: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Everyone remembers where they were on that fateful day.

What We Saw: The Events of September 11, 2001 - In Words, Pictures, and Video

What We Saw The Events of September 11, 2001--In Words, Pictures, and Video by CBS News by CBS News(no photo)


To coincide with the first anniversary of the atrocities of September 11 comes a one of a kind record of the events as they unfolded on that fateful day. In words, pictures and video, WHAT WE SAW is a unique historical record of the events of September 11th. This unique and moving book records how we learned about this international tragedy and came to understand and survive it. Through still photography, video footage and the accounts of survivors and journalists, the events of that horrific day are brought vividly to life.

message 36: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Written by the wife of Scott Beamer who led a group a passengers on Flight 93 to take over the cockpit from the terrorists. Their courage and sacrifice will never be forgotten.

Let's Roll!! Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage

Let's Roll! Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage by Lisa Beamer by Lisa Beamer Lisa Beamer


2003 ECPA Gold Medallion Award winner! The best-seller that has brought comfort and hope to millions in the wake of 9/11 is now available in softcover! "Let's Roll!"--the moving, behind-the-scenes story of United Flight 93 hero Todd Beamer and his widow, Lisa--is so much more than a tribute. A message of character, courage, and undeniable faith in the face of horrifying tragedy, it encourages anyone who reads it to live "real" life "right now" . . . and to have confidence and hope for the future.

message 37: by Jill (last edited Sep 10, 2015 03:10PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Never forget.


message 38: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 10, 2015 03:16PM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
How could anybody - the New York City Pearl Harbor. Innocent people of all nationalities and ages perished needlessly - all they were doing was going to work to support their families. Everybody in Metro NYC knew somebody who had perished - one was my young neighbor with two toddlers and a son he never saw - born shortly later.

message 39: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice Every September 11th, my heart cries.

message 40: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
I know - especially the poor families.

message 41: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) My sister-in-law called and said "turn on the tv, something terrible has happened". We were eating breakfast and ran down to the den and never left that room the rest of the day. I remember my husband said, as the second plane hit the tower. "We are at war. God help us and God help those people".

message 42: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Sad and horrific.

message 43: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) This is the type of book that can start arguments among those who read it.

Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib

Chain of Command The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib by Seymour M. Hersh by Seymour M. Hersh Seymour M. Hersh


Since September 11, 2001, Seymour M. Hersh has riveted readers -- and outraged the Bush Administration -- with his explosive stories in The New Yorker, including his headline-making pieces on the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Now, Hersh brings together what he has learned, along with new reporting, to answer the critical question of the last four years: How did America get from the clear morning when two planes crashed into the World Trade Center to a divisive and dirty war in Iraq?

In Chain of Command, Hersh takes an unflinching look behind the public story of the war on terror and into the lies and obsessions that led America into Iraq. Hersh draws on sources at the highest levels of the American government and intelligence community, in foreign capitals, and on the battlefield for an unparalleled view of a critical chapter in America's recent history. In a new afterword, he critiques the government's failure to adequately investigate prisoner abuse -- at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere -- and punish those responsible. With an introduction by The New Yorker's editor, David Remnick, Chain of Command is a devastating portrait of an administration blinded by ideology and of a president whose decisions have made the world a more dangerous place for America.

message 44: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
In the Blink of an Eye: September 11th Stories

In the Blink of an Eye September 11th Stories by Brittany Tenpenny by Brittany Tenpenny Brittany Tenpenny


Four planes. Three thousand victims. Two towers. One morning. September 11th 2001: the day that changed America forever.

Imagine waking up and getting ready for yet another day of work. You put on your best outfit, grab a cup of coffee and swing by the local bakery for a last minute breakfast. When you finally arrive at work, you settle into your desk and prepare for the day ahead. Then, barely an hour into your shift, the unthinkable happens: your office goes up in flames.

This was reality for the people who died on that fateful Tuesday morning. Some were in the towers, others in the Pentagon and the rest thirty thousand feet in the sky and digging through the smoldering rubble below. America watched in horror as the world was engulfed in flames. Our country crumbled to the ground. But from the ashes rose a new nation, one united in grief, despair and a longing for justice.

"In the Blink of an Eye: September 11th Stories" immortalizes that day in vivid detail. The short story "And Then He Smiled," tell the heart wrenching tale of a mother's grief over losing her child with a supernatural twist and the poem "One Dark September Morning," champions hope even in the darkest of times. Filled with moments of joy and despair, of faith and disbelief, of life and death, Brittany Tenpenny's "In the Blink of an Eye: September 11th Stories," is a literary anthology destined to touch the heart and inspire the soul.

For the first month of the book's release (Sept 1-Sept 30), all proceeds will be donated to the National September 11th Memorial and Museum in New York City.

message 45: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop) A Nation Challenged: A Visual History of 9/11 and Its Aftermath

A Nation Challenged A Visual History of 9/11 and Its Aftermath by Mitchel Levitas by Mitchel Levitas (no photo)


A powerful and eye-filling photographic chronicle of the award-winningNew York Times's coverage of 9/11 and its aftermath worldwide, including the war in Afghanistan

In an unprecedented effort, The New York Times opens its picture archive of September 11th and the aftermath at home and abroad. The result is groundbreaking photojournalism punctuated with authoratative prose. Culled from both published and previously unpublished material, A Nation Challenged highlights the best work of the paper's award-winning staffers-the work that has made the Times the paper of record for these events.

With a foreword, afterword, and original background essays by writers such as Pulitzer Prize winner John Burns, N. R. Kleinfeld, Dan Barry, and Celestine Bohlen, readers will follow the stunning events of September 11th on the national and international stage. Special charts and graphics supply another level of clarity and understanding, while the brilliant photographs provide counterpoint and perspective to carefully chosen text.

With 250 full-color photographs, A Nation Challenged is the definitive volume for all who desire a comprehensive visual chronicle of this pivotal time in America's history.

message 46: by Jill (last edited Jun 23, 2016 09:46PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda

The Black Banners The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda by Ali H. Soufan by Ali H. Soufan (no photo)


On September 11, 2001, FBI Special Agent Ali H. Soufan was handed a secret file. Had he received it months earlier—when it was requested—the attacks on New York and Washington could have been prevented. During his time on the front lines, Soufan helped thwart plots around the world and elicited some of the most important confessions from terrorists in the war against al-Qaeda—without laying so much as a hand on them. Most of these stories have never been reported before, and never by anyone with such intimate firsthand knowledge.

This narrative account of America's successes and failures against al-Qaeda is essential to an understanding of the terrorist group. We are taken into hideouts and interrogation rooms. We have a ringside seat at bin Laden's personal celebration of the 9/11 bombings. Such riveting details show us not only how terrorists think and operate but also how they can be beaten and brought to justice.

message 47: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Writing in the Dust: After September 11

Writing in the Dust After September 11 by Rowan Williams by Rowan Williams Rowan Williams


On September 11, 2001, Rowan Williams, the newly appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, was at Trinity Church, Wall Street, just two blocks from the World Trade Center. Trapped by dust and debris as the terrible events of that morning unfolded, Williams offered encouragement and prayer to those around him. Soon after, he wrote this small, poignant reflection on the meaning of that horrific day. This is not a book of academic theology or a program for action. Rather, it is one person's heartfelt attempt to find words for the grief, shock, and loss following one of America's darkest days. It is also an effort to find wisdom for the days ahead. Newly available in paperback, Writing in the Dust offers spiritual direction to all who struggle to discern how faith might begin to think and feel its way through the nightmare.

message 48: by Jill (last edited Sep 29, 2016 12:32AM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) The Wall of Names on the flight path of Flight 93 at the Shanksville, PA memorial.

(Source: Wikimedia)

message 49: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Is it just me or has anyone noticed that when we speak of 9/11, we always talk about the Twin Towers and barely mention the Pentagon or Shanksville? Why is that?

message 50: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Jill I attribute that to both the magnitude in terms of number of people impacted and the television coverage of the entire event and scene in NYC that lasted for days and ran continuously.

« previous 1
back to top