Cover Image: Tower Stories: An Oral History of 9/11 (20th Anniversary Commemorative Edition)

Tower Stories: An Oral History of 9/11 (20th Anniversary Commemorative Edition)

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This is not an easy book to read especially if you are one of those who remember where you were when it happened. The book was compelling and an important read nevertheless. It deals not just with stories of those who lived through the initial event, but also those who lived with the aftermath and changes that it brought.

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Damon DiMarco’s “Tower Stories: An Oral History of 9/11 (20th Anniversary Commemorative Edition)” is a poignant literary time capsule that eternally preserves the monumental tragedy of September 11, 2001. Through the voices of those who were in New York City on that fateful day, DiMarco weaves together a tapestry of resilience, courage, and heartbreak. For this 20th Anniversary Commemorative Edition, DiMarco conducted additional interviews, offering a contemporary perspective on the 9/11 tragedy.

Unlike traditional narratives, “Tower Stories” relies on oral accounts from survivors, first responders, and witnesses. These firsthand testimonies provide an intimate and unfiltered perspective, capturing the raw emotions and experiences of that day. DiMarco ensures a diverse range of voices are heard. From office workers trapped in the Towers to firefighters battling the inferno, each story contributes to a mosaic of resilience, loss, and hope. This inclusivity sets “Tower Stories” apart.

"Tower Stories" immerses readers in the emotional aftermath of 9/11 and skillfully captures the resilience, grief, and courage of ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances.

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Damon DiMarco captures the heart of 9/11 in a book that was both hard to read and harder to put down.

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Damon DiMarco's "Tower Stories: An Oral History of 9/11 (20th Anniversary Commemorative Edition)" is a powerful and poignant tribute to the resilience and heroism of the people who witnessed and survived the tragic events of September 11, 2001. This book serves as a literary time capsule that preserves the voices of those who were in New York City on that fateful day and captures the unbreakable spirit of the American people in the face of unspeakable tragedy.

DiMarco's approach is to let the survivors, first responders, journalists, and ordinary citizens who experienced 9/11 firsthand tell their stories in their own words. The result is an emotionally charged narrative that allows readers to connect with the individuals whose lives were forever changed by the events of that day. The voices in this book are haunting, heartbreaking, and ultimately heroic.

The 20th Anniversary Commemorative Edition of "Tower Stories" preserves the impactful stories from the original edition but also includes new interviews that provide a contemporary perspective on the 9/11 tragedy. These additional voices, including Alice Greenwald, Father Jim Martin, Tom Haddad, and Stephen Adly Guirgis, offer fresh insights and reflections on the world-shattering event.

"Tower Stories" captures the enormity of the 9/11 events while simultaneously celebrating the resilience and courage of the people who found themselves at the epicenter of the tragedy. The book illustrates the strength of the human spirit and the capacity for individuals to rise to the occasion during the darkest of times.

DiMarco's writing is evocative and empathetic, allowing the interviewees' stories to shine through without unnecessary intrusion. The book is a heartfelt tribute to the countless heroes who emerged from the chaos and devastation of that day. It's no surprise that MSNBC labeled "Tower Stories" as "arguably the most successful attempt at capturing the enormity of the events of 9/11." Publishers Weekly aptly noted that "DiMarco's contribution to the memory of that horrific day is enormous," and it truly is a one-of-a-kind account.

"Tower Stories: An Oral History of 9/11 (20th Anniversary Commemorative Edition)" is a moving and essential work that pays tribute to the memory of those who were affected by 9/11. Damon DiMarco's dedication to preserving these stories ensures that the heroism and resilience of the people who lived through that day will never be forgotten.

"A heartfelt tribute to the unsung heroes of 9/11, capturing their stories with unwavering respect and empathy."

"An emotionally charged narrative that honors the resilience and courage of those who lived through the 9/11 tragedy."

"Damon DiMarco's powerful oral history combines voices of survivors, creating an unforgettable tribute to their experiences."

"A literary time capsule that ensures the memories of 9/11 heroes and survivors will endure for generations."

"A poignant and respectful commemoration of the heroes and witnesses of 9/11, preserving their voices with profound reverence."

"'Tower Stories' offers an intimate and heartrending portrait of 9/11's impact on the lives of everyday people."

"A celebration of the human spirit's capacity to rise to the occasion during the darkest of times, brought to life through authentic voices."

"A testament to the enormity of the 9/11 events and the resilience that emerged from the chaos."

"An evocative journey through the memories of those who were there, honoring their experiences with deep empathy."

"A one-of-a-kind account that captures the essence of 9/11 through the voices of the individuals who lived it."

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As an update to an earlier edition, it's fine. There are some deeply emotional, very moving stories. However, I'm not sure that a new, updated edition added anything to the 9/11 narrative.

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***** I have received and read an advanced reader copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for giving my honest feedback. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.*****

The book is exactly what the title says: a collection of stories from 9/11.

There's really not much more to say.

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Tower Stories; An Oral History of 9/11 is an impressive and moving book with stories of all kinds of people who's life got impacted and changed forever on 9/11; fireman, paramedics, policemen, volunteers, eyewitnesses who saw everything happen in lower manhattan, people who where inside one of the two towers when it happened, volunteers, media reporters, small business owners, people who lost a partner in 9/11, children who lost a parent, political experts and WTC structural engineers, family and friends of victims, and more share their personal story of that horryfying day. All of the stories are very moving, and share many points of view of that day that you mostly don't see in other media. From a small group of people who miraculously made it outside, to a single women who just wanted to help, which leaded to a big volunteer centre in a Lower Manhattan High School where rescue workers could get daily neccesary supplies and got daily meals. From the aftermath of the attacks,the search for victims under the rubble of the fallen towers, to the cleanup of Ground Zero and the rebuilding of communication networks and the rebuilding. ; This is a great compilation of stories that tells the historical significance of this day. Its even more important now that it can provide updates and annotations.The author does a very good job of conveying the emotion of the people who he interviewed.The book is separated into five sections: At The Towers, Outside The Towers, Ground Zero and Volunteers, The Aftermath, and Viewpoint, along with a in-depth Timeline of that day. All of the stories were well written and made the reader really imagination what it was like to be there on that day, weeks, and months later, even though you can't possible imagination what the people and the citizens of America went though that day. All the stories were very memorable with different things I never thought about before. I am glad that I had the chance to read this book, and I recommend reading it.

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Fascinating stories in the words of the survivors with a little information about who they were and why they were at the World Trade Center on 9/11. I found the accounts interesting and how lucky everyone was with their brushes with death and how terrified they all were watching everything unfold. Occasionally there were updates from a few years later which were nice to see as well. Recommended for a different view on the events that happened that day.

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Being an anniversary edition, I was quite interested in seeing what changes would be made to update the publication. Having read a number of titles on 9/11, and not living in the USA, I was disappointed with how little context the editor gave to ensure that the oral histories were both true to the contributor and understandable by those who are not entirely familiar with the history or location. I also found it difficult to read that the updates to stories were included at the end of the book, which meant that in order to recall who the original update was about, I would have to flick through the title again to find the relevant chapter.

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I read and own the original book and was curious to read the differences. The 20th commemorative book has the original stories then provides updates on some of the people in the original book, but not all. I suppose that would have been impossible. Reading this book is still as important today as it was 20 years ago. Never Forget.

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My thanks to Net Galley and Santa Monica for this book.

Excellent, well written and put together. The book was a very heavy read. All of the various perspectives gives you numerous perspectives of how the tragedy effected the disciplines involved that were right there and families that lost loved ones. Highly recommend.

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This will definitely be a hard read for many. Very glad to have the opportunity to read this and reflect. Remembering exactly where you were and what you were doing during this catastrophic event will bring all of the feels. Bravery, survival, strength and loss, this book has it all. A wonderful way to reflect.
5 stars Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read.

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This one was a hard read for me. Some of the stories I wasn't as connected to. Some made me uncomfortable, but honestly that is the point. 21 years ago, I was getting ready to head for my first class of the day at my community college. I saw the second plane hit the tower on Good Morning America and was stunned. We lived in a coastal community, with multiple bases around me, so I headed to the college to make sure that things were mobilized there with our Student Government office. We were trying to make sure that the students knew what was going on, but also try to get in touch with friends/family/help others do the same and try to make sense of it all. To read these stories it is compelling. Again, some of them are harder to read than others. But it was worth the time to do so.

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This book was so powerful! So many amazing stories of bravery, survival, heroism, and self sacrifice. The stories of courage, love, kindness, dedication, and loss. One of the best books I’ve ever read of 9/11. I highly recommend.

Thank you NetGalley for the arc of this book.

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