cover image Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11

Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11

Mitchell Zuckoff. HarperCollins, $29.99 (592p) ISBN 978-0-06-227564-6

The horror and heroism of 9/11 are brought to life in this panoramic history. Boston University journalism professor Zuckoff, who covered the attacks for the Boston Globe, traces the day’s events through the stories of dozens of people who experienced them: the hijackers as they put the finishing touches on their plot and set it in motion; the hijacked aircrew and passengers stunned by the unfolding nightmare; the air-traffic controllers, FAA officials, and military officers who struggled to piece together what was happening in the skies (Zuckoff shows how miscommunication delayed crucial measures that might have saved lives); workers in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon as they scrambled to escape from the growing infernos; and the firefighters who risked their lives to rescue them. Zuckoff draws skillfully on interviews with survivors, family reminiscences, audio documents (including farewell phone calls from doomed victims), tapes from the cockpit of United Flight 93 where passengers fought to take the plane back from the hijackers, and forlorn notes—one reading “84th floor. West office. 12 people trapped” drifted down from a tower—to flesh out the violence, chaos, and occasional moments of grace. The result is a superb, harrowing retelling of this most dramatic of stories. (Apr.)