September 11th Non-Fiction Reads

Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the crash of a hijacked plane near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Below are some suggestions of non-fiction reading selections concerning the events of 9/11.

102 Minutes: The Unforgettable Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers by Jim Dwyer
Recounts the survival efforts of thousands of people who were inside the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, in an account that also raises questions about building safety and New York’s emergency preparedness.

Firehouse by David Halberstam
In a tribute to the firefighters who lost their lives following the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, the author explores the lives of members of FDNY Engine 40 Ladder 25, offering a portrait of everyday life in a firehouse and their courageous efforts to preserve life.

American Ground: Unbuilding the World Trade Center by William Langewiesche
Traces the monumental efforts of the cleanup crew at the World Trade Center site, and discusses physical details of the collapse and deconstruction, the political factors that contributed, and the human side of the effort.

9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation by Sid Jacobson
This graphic adaptation of the 9/11 Commission’s official report on the terrorist attacks puts at every American’s fingertips the most defining event of the century. Sid Jacobson’s text faithfully captures the report’s investigative thoroughness, while Ernie Coln’s stunning artwork powerfully conveys the facts, insights, and urgency of the original.

Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright
Explores both the American and Arab sides of the September 11th terrorist attacks in an account of the people, ideas, events, and intelligence failures that led to the attacks. Packed with new information and a deep historical perspective, The Looming Tower is the definitive history of the long road to September 11.

Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can’t Stand Up to the Facts by David Dunbar
Analyzes and refutes twenty of the most predominant theories involving the United States government’s role in perpetrating the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Conspiracy theories about Sept. 11, 2001 continue to spread. Now, in a meticulous, scientific and groundbreaking new book, Popular Mechanics puts these rumors to rest.

Unmeasured Strength by Lauren Manning
She had a big job on Wall Street, a loving husband and an infant son, and a confidence born of intelligence and beauty. But on 9/11, good fortune was no match for catastrophe. When a wall of flame at the World Trade Center burned more than 80 percent of her body, Lauren Manning began a ten-year journey of survival and rebirth that tested her almost beyond human endurance.

Fighting 69th: From Ground Zero to Baghdad by Sean Michael Flynn
Presents a dramatic comparison of the Fighting 69th Infantry before and after the September 11, 2001 attacks, describing how a unit of largely untrained and unequipped immigrants became a battle-hardened troop in one of Baghdad’s most dangerous regions.

Touching History: The Untold Story of the Drama That Unfolded in the Skies Over America on 9/11 by Lynn Spencer
A commercial pilot describes her investigation into the events of September 11 after feeling skeptical about the 9/11 Commission report, relating how she learned that thousands of fellow pilots had improvised a defense plan that included suicide missions.

Last Man Down: A New York City Fire Chief and the Collapse of the World by Richard Picciotto
An inside look at the events of September 11, 2001 from a high-ranking FDNY officer describes the rescue efforts at Ground Zero and his personal ordeal.

Annotations courtesy of NoveList and the WCPL Catalog.

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