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Among the Heroes: United Flight 93 and the Passengers and Crew Who Fought Back Hardcover – July 30, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

New York Times reporter Longman, who covered the story of Flight 93, helps us relive the heroism and the terror of its final moments.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

The 9/11 flight that crashed in Pennsylvania, presumably on its way to devastate either the White House or the Capitol, is the subject of a riveting account by Longman, a reporter for the New York Times. In his words, the passengers of United Flight 93 "thwarted" the terrorists; it is clear to him that the "passengers and crew acted with heroic defiance." Longman spoke with all the affected families except one. His account of the "brave uprising [that] will surely be remembered as a defining moment in American history" gives us an incredibly detailed and personal tale of that horrific episode, during which ordinary citizens proved their mettle and altered their fate. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (August 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060099089
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060099084
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,798,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Foster Corbin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I heard the author interviewed on National Public Radio recently, bought the book immediately and read it straight through. I hardly know what to say about the book lest I trivialize such a horrible event in our nation's history. Mere words become cliches in the face of such courage and bravery of the passangers and crew of United Flight 93.
Two things jumped out at me when I read this book. First, several of the passengers and/or friends or relatives had premonitions that they should not take this flight. Second, many of the passengers changed their flight plans at the last minute and got on this plane because there were so many empty seats.
I was also taken by the diversity of those aboard. (After all, wasn't that one of the problems of the misguided monsters, that they did not believe in the diversity of the U. S.?) There were Caucasians, African Americans, a Puerto-Rican American, a Japanese student, a gay man, a married Baptist couple, Jewish folk, a disabled person, older people, young people, people on vacation, others on work assignments.
The book is extremely well written although I suspect that it almost wrote itself. I do not mean to take anything away from Mr. Longman, but a writer would have to work hard to make such a tragic event uninteresting. He includes photographs of the crew and passengers and fleshes out their lives. One passenger is on his way to pick up the remains of a loved one. Another passenger we find out collects refrigerator magnets from cities she has visited, a fact that made we smile since I have the same quirk.
Although these 40 people lost their lives, they did not go gentle.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By J. Walters on August 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was a reluctant to read this book, unitl I heard the author, Jere Longman, interviewed on CNN. He said he tried to focus more on the lives of the passengers of United Flight 93 - not as much on their deaths. So, I decided to give it a shot and ordered the book.
Once I started reading, I literally could not put it down. It was wonderful to gain an understanding of who the people were that fate placed on that particular flight. I valued the author's effort to provide a glimpse into their lives through the lens of familiy members and friends. Although, it didn't feel like voyeurism at all. Instead, it felt like attending a memorial service - a celebration of life and of the American spirit.
The personal memories were touching, but the book was balanced with factual information on the events leading up to the crash in Shanksville. It was difficult to read the specifics about phone calls that were made by the passengers and crew, their attempts to gather facts on the other hijacked planes, and the tender goodbyes to their loved ones. However, it is the type of book that helps you examine your priorities and reflect on relationships in your life.
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52 of 60 people found the following review helpful By A.Trendl VINE VOICE on August 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Lesser men hijack planes. Great men thwart them. Such were the men and women on Flight 93. In "Among the Heroes: United Flight 93 and the Passengers and Crew Who Fought Back" we read the details and facts of people who rose from being mere travellers to heroes to be reckoned with.

Todd Beamer and the rest were not intending to die, nor did they expect to be heroes. Give a chance to think twice, who knows what they might've done. But they thought once, did what needed to be done, and showed us the spirit of Paul Revere is not lost in the late 1700s, but is awake in this generation. And that the valor of Bunker Hill, the courage of men who did not shoot until they saw the whites of their opponents' eyes... Beamer and company pressed through the odds against their success. Not just Beamer, though he is now the best known of the heroic team.

In forcing a plane to crash, they raised the American flag higher into the sky than it had seen in many decades. And, in the case of Beamer, it showed that a man of deep Christian faith was willing to give his life that others may live, an example for all Christians worldwide.

The details of the book bring reality to a story too easy to make into a myth. There was a real plane over a real field, and real people hijacked it, and real people were killed in the process. I fully recommend "Among the Heroes: United Flight 93 and the Passengers and Crew Who Fought Back" by Jere Longman. The call, "Let's roll!" will echo through the years, and hopefully never lose its volume.

Anthony Trendl
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Dianne on August 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
"Among the Heroes" by Jere Longman examines the ordinary lives of the passengers and crew onboard hijacked United Flight 93, and their extraordinary attempt to regain control of the plane once they learned from friends and family via cellphone and Airfone that commercial planes were being used as missiles against American cities.
I normally would have read this book in one sitting. But it's hard to read while your eyes are filled with tears. "Among the Heroes" is a heartwarming yet heartbreaking tale of courage and grace.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Throughout American history, otherwise ordinary people have displayed extraordinary courage when in life-threatening situations. The tragic events of September 11th offer a number of examples. The most publicized involves those aboard United flight 93 which crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. While huddled to the rear of the plane, several called loved ones; Todd Beamer spoke at length with an GTE-Verizon operator and, together, they recited the Lord's Prayer. She then heard Beamer ask "Are you guys ready? Let's roll!" By then, Beamer and his fellow passengers knew the fate of the other three skyjacked planes and rushed the cockpit. The plane crashed. Everyone aboard died.
What we have here is a combination of transcriptions of cell phone calls and the "black box" tapes, mini-biographies, obituaries, reminiscences by the victims' relatives and friends, and Longman's own highly skillful analysis of what he learned during his extensive research. It is possible but unlikely that much more information about specific developments during the flight will be forthcoming. Lisa Beamer has already written one book and, over time, I think others among the victims' relatives and friends will also share their own thoughts and feelings about the impact on them following the crash of United flight 93.
A chronicle such as this helps to give "human faces" to the victims' names. The same is true of a special section {"A Nation Challenged") which the New York Times published each day from September 15th until February 5th. A total of 1,800 "portraits of grief" were eventually featured. (This material is now available in a single volume, Portraits of 9/11/01: The Collected "Portraits of Grief" from the New York Times.
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