From Library Journal
There could not be a greater contrast than between the cold engineering that leveled the twin towers and the response of the 343 New York firefighters who rushed in to their deaths. Those men are honored in this collection of evocatively understated photographs showing all 70 of the city's affected firehouses, from Red Hook's company of "Happy Hookers" to Harlem's "Fire Factory." The pictures by 50 noted photographers show the firehouses in all attitudes of mourning and recovery, crowded with donated flowers, candles, homemade signs, and children's drawings (some from as far as Mississippi) that have helped buoy up the survivors in the months since the attack. These displays are evidence of a popular rediscovery of firefighters, writes McCourt in his pitch-perfect foreword to the book. All of September 11's FDNY dead are listed delicately across the bottom of the pages of portraits of the lost men's firehouse beds, wall-posters, empty lockers, boots, and heat-darkened helmets, as well as their squad mates struggling on. The iconic buildings in which these rescuers died were themselves memorialized in last fall's The World Trade Center Remembered, a thinking-person's remembrance with an elegant text by architecture critic Paul Goldberger. In that work, the towers lord over the island with their old swagger; the blue-sky backgrounds are not yet ominous, the buildings' steel skins not yet gashed and smoking. Taken together, these two books express a reflective stillness before and after catastrophic horror. They are the class of the many publishing tributes and will serve any reader looking for memorial literature that doesn't patronize or wear a blood shirt. [Proceeds from Brotherhood go to the New York Firefighters 911 Relief Fund. Ed.] Nathan Ward, "Library Journal"
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
On 9-11, the most indispensable people at ground zero were New York's firefighters, as pretty much everyone has acknowledged. The headquarters building of American Express was across the street from the World Trade Center, and 11 employees died in the towers. With this book, the company honors the firefighters who died trying to save those 11 and the others. Near the bottom of its pages, beginning on the front endpapers, the names of the lost run in a single line that continues to the back endpapers. The entire roster appears three times, over as well as under brilliant color photographs of the stations that lost those men, their remaining comrades, the ad hoc shrines a grateful citizenry assembled to honor the fallen, and the appreciative artwork and letters that children sent to the stations. In terms of effect, the pictures beggar the brief accompanying remarks of Mayor Giuliani, Fire Commissioner Von Essen, and eulogist Frank McCourt, and they ensure the big book's place in the forefront of 9-11 commemoratives. Ray Olson
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