The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11

Journalist and historian Garrett M. Graff (The Threat Matrix) has assembled an outstanding and emotionally wrenching oral history of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania. As with the assassination of John F. Kennedy, everyone who lived through the 9/11 attack remembers where they were, and has a story. Thousands of these memories have been collected, edited and arranged for a chronological retelling of those harrowing events.

The title refers to the eight hours President George W. Bush and his aides were on Air Force One, circling the skies. The FAA had grounded all other planes after four commercial jets were hijacked with the intention of crashing them into New York City's World Trade Center's twin towers and the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Three targets were hit. The fourth plane, which intended to attack the Capitol, was stopped when its heroic passengers sought to wrest control of the plane from its hijackers. The plane crashed in Pennsylvania, killing all 44 aboard, before it could be used as a missile. The personal memories of survivors, loved ones of those who died, first responders, politicians and news people are heartrending. One man is pulled out of the rubble of the fallen towers and rushed to the hospital, where he expects to see thousands of injured: "I said, 'Where is everybody?' They're like, 'You're it.' "

Hypnotic and profoundly heartbreaking, these first-person remembrances intensify the emotion of that day. This is a book readers will never forget. --Kevin Howell, independent reviewer and marketing consultant

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