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The 1993 World Trade Center Bombing (Great Disasters, Reforms and Ramifications) Library Binding – December 1, 2001


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Reviewed with Therese DeAngelis' and Gina DeAngelis' The Dust Bowl.

Gr. 6-8. Here are two new entries in the Great Disasters series. Dust Bowl, which begins with a straightforward look at farming practices that contributed to the transformation of the "breadbasket of the world," evokes strong emotions when relating the heroic daily struggle to survive the dust and the poverty. The authors document the horrendous conditions in black-and-white photographs and snatches of letters and conversations. Chapters on the "Okie migration" and FDR's New Deal programs round out the text. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, will surely generate interest in Shields' book, which gives a full accounting of the tangled web of events surrounding the 1993 Twin Towers bombing--from the planning and execution to the investigation, arrests, and trials that followed. It, too, is illustrated with black-and-white photos, occasionally of poor quality. A three-page epilogue describing the events of September 11 adds to the book's value. Both series entries include a chronology and a bibliography. Lauren Peterson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 11 and up
  • Series: Great Disasters, Reforms and Ramifications
  • Library Binding: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Chelsea House Publications (December 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0791057895
  • ISBN-13: 978-0791057896
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 7.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,138,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charles J. Shields (born December 2, 1951) is an American biographer, primarily of 20th-century American novelists.

In 1997, Shields left a career in high school teaching and administration to write independently. Over the course of the next six years, he published 20 histories and biographies for young people. His first biography for adults, Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee (Holt, 2006) went on to become a New York Times bestseller. "This biography will not disappoint those who loved the novel and the feisty, independent, fiercely loyal Scout, in whom Harper Lee put so much of herself," wrote Garrison Keillor in the New York Times Sunday Book Review. "As readable, convincing, and engrossing as Lee's literary wonder," said the Orlando Sentinel.

Two years later, Shields followed-up his biography of Lee with a young adult version: I Am Scout: The Biography of Harper Lee, which received awards from American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults; Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year; Arizona Grand Canyon Young Readers Master List.

In 2009, with fellow biographers Nigel Hamilton, James McGrath Morris, and Debby Applegate, Shields co-founded Biographers International Organization (BIO), a non-profit organization founded to promote the art and craft of biography, and to further the professional interests of its practitioners. As of July 2011, BIO has members in 43 American states and 10 nations, including Australia, India, Kenya, and the Netherlands.

In November 2011, Shields published the first biography of Kurt Vonnegut, And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut, A Life (Holt), described as an "incisive, gossipy page-turner of a biography," by Janet Maslin and an "engrossing, definitive biography" by Publishers Weekly in a starred review. It was selected as a New York Times Notable Book,[12] and Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book for 2011.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book minimizes the role of Emad Salem, the FBI's 'informant', really their agent provacateur.

Google "Emad Salem, bomb, World Trade Center, Kunstler" to find the New York Times article of 28 October, 1993. Front page, written by Ralph Blumenthal. There were articles describing follow-up investigative reporting in the Boston Globe and Denver Post. These included interviews with Salem's FBI handlers, who didn't have a good explanation for events.

Emad Salem, being a well-trained Middle-Eastern conspirator, not only recorded his conversations with his co-conspirators, he recorded also his conversations with his FBI handlers. Kunstler found out about these transcripts, forced them into the trial record.

These transcripts have Salem saying things like "I spend all of the money on the bomb". (He always wanted more money.) And "I can use an inert powder so it won't explode". (The FBI didn't want that.)

I read (from memory here) that the FBI paid Salem $1M before the bombing, kept him in "protective custody" before and during the trial, and paid him another large sum after the trial.

The "the FBI found the VIN number and followed the trail" story is entirely bogus. The story that Shields repeats that the FBI cut off contact with Salem before WTC bomb plot is entirely bogus.

This was an FBI operation from the beginning to the end. They knew every detail of the conspirator's plans, allowed the bomb to explode. Immediately thereafter, Congress passed a bill which increased the FBI's power and budget.

Anyone who follows the FBI knows that it is a very top-down-controlled organization. I read later that the head of the NY office was promoted to a post in DC, so the organization thinks he did fine.

Charles J.
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