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Check It Out: The Only Plane in the Sky by Garrett Graff & Fall and Rise by Mitchell Zuckoff

This is Jenn Delperdang, with the Sioux City Public Library, and you’re listening to Check It Out.

   Today I am recommending two books that weave together the events of one of the most traumatic days in U.S. History—The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11 by Garrett Graff and Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11 by Mitchell Zuckoff.  

   Journalist and former POLITICO editor Garrett Graff conducted interviews for three years with hundreds of people—government officials, first responders, witnesses, survivors, and friends and family members of victims to create an hour-by-hour remembrance of September 11th.   Graff maintains a focus on the personal stories and does not engage in placing blame or veer off into political commentary.  This is a heart-wrenching and moving book that lets you feel the bewilderment and fear of that day, but also the extraordinary courage shown by so many.  

   In Fall and Rise: the story of 9/11, Boston University Journalism professor Mitchell Zuckoff also develops his story through dozens of stories of the people that experienced the events of 9/11. Fall and Rise is divided into three sections: In each of these sections, the author builds a relentlessly compelling narrative around real-life protagonists, humanizing the terror of this day and touching on the lasting mental and physical injuries experienced by survivors and first responders.  

    These books are not easy to read—to revisit this moment in our contemporary history can be difficult, but they do help us to understand the human cost of this monumental tragedy.  Check out these, and other books remembering 9/11 at the Sioux City Public Library. 

Support for Check It Out on Siouxland Public Media comes from Avery Brothers.