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

Garrett M. Graff

4 Reviews

Rated 0

21st century history: from c 2000 -

The Definitive First-Person Account of the Day That Changed the World

"Although many years have passed since 9/11, this book, told with such immediacy, brings so vividly back to mind the shock of that day, and why it continues to shape the tragic history that has followed."
-Lawrence Wright, author of THE LOOMING TOWER

"THE ONLY PLANE IN THE SKY is a stunning and important work-chilling, heartbreaking-and I cannot stop thinking about it. To hear the voices of those who survived, and those who did not, it is so moving and powerful. I learned so much and am so thankful for this book."
- Anderson Cooper, anchor, CNN


Of all the books about 9/11 one has been missing until now - a panoramic narrative from the men and women caught up in the unprecedented human drama of that terrible day.

THE ONLY PLANE IN THE SKY is nothing less than the first comprehensive oral history of 9/11, deftly woven and told in the voices of ordinary people grappling with extraordinary events. Drawing on never-before-published transcripts, recently declassified documents, new and archived interviews from nearly five hundred people, historian Garrett Graff skillfully tells the story of the day as it was lived.

It begins in the predawn hours of airports in the Northeast, where we meet the ticket agents who unknowingly usher terrorists onto their flights. In New York, first responders confront a scene of unimaginable chaos at the Twin Towers. From a secret bunker beneath the White House, Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice watch for incoming planes on radar. In the offices of the Pentagon, top officials feel the violent tremor as their headquarters come under attack.

We hear the stories of the father and son working on separate floors in the North Tower; the firefighter who rushes to the scene to search for his wife; the telephone operator who keeps her promise to share a passenger's last words with his family; the chaplain who stays on the scene to perform last rites, losing his own life when the Towers collapse; the teachers evacuating terrified children from schools mere blocks from the World Trade Center; the generals at the Pentagon who break down and weep when they are barred from rushing into the burning building to try and rescue their colleagues.

THE ONLY PLANE IN THE SKY is a unique, profound, and searing exploration of humanity on a day that changed the course of history, and all of our lives.

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

  • Although many years have passed since 9/11, this book, told with such immediacy, brings so vividly back to mind the shock of that day, and why it continues to shape the tragic history that has followed. - Lawrence Wright, Author of the Looming Tower

  • Although many years have passed since 9/11, this book, told with such immediacy, brings so vividly back to mind the shock of that day, and why it continues to shape the tragic history that has followed. - Jon Meacham, author of The Soul of America

  • "The most moving and chilling oral history you will read." - The Times

  • A hugely powerful new book. - Dan Snow

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Garrett M. Graff

John P. Carlin is the former Assistant Attorney General for National Security under Barack Obama, where he worked to protect the country against international and domestic terrorism, espionage, cyber, and other national security threats. A career federal prosecutor and graduate of Harvard Law School, John has spent much of the last decade working at the center of the nation's response to the rise of terrorism and cyber threats, including serving as National Coordinator of the Justice Department's Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (CHIP) program, as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, and as chief of staff to then-FBI Director Robert Mueller. Today, Carlin is the global chair of the risk and crisis management practice for the law firm Morrison & Foerster. He is also chair of the Aspen Institute's Cybersecurity & Technology Program and a sought-after industry speaker on cyber issues as well as a CNBC contributor on cybersecurity and national security issues.

Garrett M. Graff is an award-winning journalist who has spent nearly a decade covering national security. He also serves as executive director of the Aspen Institute's Cybersecurity & Technology Program. A regular writer for WIRED, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and a former editor of both Washingtonian and POLITICO Magazine, he has an extensive background in journalism and in technology. His oral history of Air Force One during 9/11 is under development as a movie by MGM and his April 2017 WIRED cover story about the FBI's hunt for an infamous Russian hacker has also been optioned for television. His most recent book is Raven Rock: The Story of the U.S. Government's Secret Plan to Save Itself-While the Rest of Us Die.

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