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The Only Plane in the Sky
“Today I had a day off and listened to Only Plane in the Sky by Garrett M. Graff on Libro.fm. I was in tears after the first 30 minutes. Has it really been 18 years since 9-11-01? It seems like it happened yesterday since it's still all so raw. I listened to the whole book nonstop until I was finished today. The style of the book reminds me of one of my favorite authors Studs Terkel. Let the people tell their own stories and the overall heart of the story will be told clearly and honestly. This will be a great gift suggestion for book buyers looking for the perfect gift for fathers, history bluffs, anyone that lived through those very tough days surrounding 9-11-01. Never forget!”Suzie,
“I absolutely believe this book should be listened to, instead of read. Each of the interviews and testimonies has a different voice, making this experience extremely intimate. I thought I knew. I had no idea. My memory is made up of all the big moments shared by the news. Planes, towers, explosions, the Pentagon, flight 93. All Images, experienced vicariously. Graff has collected first-hand accounts of 9/11 and woven them into a chronological masterpiece. I am awestruck by the tiniest of details, observations, moments. The following muffled silence, like that after a heavy snowfall. Streets filled with women’s shoes. (Think about it.) These testimonies fill in the spaces between the big images burned into our national psyche. These voices make it real. Make it human. Make it us.”Robin,
“This is a book you really need to hear instead of read. I was an adult with 2 children on 9/11 and I learned so much listening to this. This is more than just people recounting what happened to them on that dark day, it is a reenactment from key people told in chronological order. You get the where and learn exactly what they experienced. There is a full cast of people retelling their stories and their observations. It was heartbreaking but also eye-opening. Although I lived through this, I gained a better understanding of those affected by the events first hand. The people that were right there tell you their view and how the responded. Listening to this I was riveted. The scope of 9/11 is bigger than just one person, or a few people. It encompasses every American. This book does a fantastic job of putting you right there.”Karen,
That Book Store
2020 AUDIOBOOK OF THE YEAR AUDIE AWARD WINNER!
2020 MULTI-VOICED PERFORMANCE AUDIE AWARD WINNER!
Audio bonus! The audio edition includes an exclusive interview with Garrett Graff and Holter Graham as well as archival audio from United States Presidential addresses, In-Flight Communications, and Air Traffic Control.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
“This is history at its most immediate and moving…A marvelous and memorable book.” —Jon Meacham
“Remarkable…A priceless civic gift…On page after page, a reader will encounter words that startle, or make him angry, or heartbroken.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Had me turning each page with my heart in my throat…There’s been a lot written about 9/11, but nothing like this. I urge you to read it.” —Katie Couric
The first comprehensive oral history of September 11, 2001—a panoramic narrative woven from voices on the front lines of an unprecedented national trauma.
Over the past eighteen years, monumental literature has been published about 9/11, from Lawrence Wright’s The Looming Tower to The 9/11 Commission Report. But one perspective has been missing up to this point—a 360-degree account of the day told through firsthand.
Now, in The Only Plane in the Sky, Garrett Graff tells the story of the day as it was lived—in the words of those who lived it. Drawing on never-before-published transcripts, declassified documents, original interviews, and oral histories from nearly five hundred government officials, first responders, witnesses, survivors, friends, and family members, he paints the most vivid and human portrait of the September 11 attacks yet.
Beginning in the predawn hours of airports in the Northeast, we meet the ticket agents who unknowingly usher terrorists onto their flights, and the flight attendants inside the hijacked planes. In New York, first responders confront a scene of unimaginable horror at the Twin Towers. From a secret bunker under the White House, officials watch for incoming planes on radar. Aboard unarmed fighter jets in the air, pilots make a pact to fly into a hijacked airliner if necessary to bring it down. In the skies above Pennsylvania, civilians aboard United 93 make the ultimate sacrifice in their place. Then, as the day moves forward and flights are grounded nationwide, Air Force One circles the country alone, its passengers isolated and afraid.
More than simply a collection of eyewitness testimonies, The Only Plane in the Sky is the historic narrative of how ordinary people grappled with extraordinary events in real time: the father and son caught on different ends of the impact zone; the firefighter searching for his wife who works at the World Trade Center; the operator of in-flight telephone calls who promises to share a passenger’s last words with his family; the beloved FDNY chaplain who bravely performs last rites for the dying, losing his own life when the Towers collapse; and the generals at the Pentagon who break down and weep when they are barred from trying to rescue their colleagues.
At once a powerful tribute to the courage of everyday Americans and an essential addition to the literature of 9/11, The Only Plane in the Sky weaves together the unforgettable personal experiences of the men and women who found themselves caught at the center of an unprecedented human drama. The result is a unique, profound, and searing exploration of humanity on a day that changed the course of history, and all of our lives.