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Miracle on the Hudson: The Survivors of Flight 1549 Tell Their Extraordinary Stories of Courage, Faith, and Determination Hardcover – October 13, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; First Edition edition (October 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345519949
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345519948
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #607,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Product Description
In this heart-stopping, page-turning tale of fear, heroism, and redemption, the passengers of the Hudson River crash landing tell their remarkable stories.
 
Millions watched the aftermath on television, while others witnessed the event actually happening from the windows of nearby skyscrapers. But only 155 people know firsthand what really happened on U.S. Airways Flight 1549 on January 15, 2009. Now, for the first time, the survivors detail their astounding, terrifying, and inspiring experiences on that freezing winter day in New York City. Written by two esteemed journalists, Miracle on the Hudson is the entire tale from takeoff to bird strike to touchdown to rescue, seen through the eyes and felt in the souls of those on board the fateful flight.

Revealing many new and compelling details, Miracle on the Hudson dramatically evokes the explosion and "smell of burning flesh" as both engines were destroyed by geese, the violent landing on the river that felt like a "huge car wreck," the gridlock in the aisles as the plane filled swiftly with freezing water, and the thrill of the passengers' rescue from the wings and from rafts—all of it recalled by the "cross section of America" on board.

Jay McDonald, a thirty-nine-year-old software developer, had survived brain-tumor surgery just two years earlier and now faced the unimaginable.

Tracey Wolsko, a nervous flier, suddenly became other people's rock: "Just pray. It's going to be all right." Jim Whitaker, a construction executive, reassured a nervous mother of two young children on board, only later admitting, "I was pathologically lying the whole time." As the plane started sinking, Lucille Palmer, eighty-five, told her daughter to save herself: "Just leave me!"

Featuring much more than what the media reported—moments of chaos in addition to stoicism and common sense, and the fortuitous mistakes and quick instincts that saved lives that otherwise would have been lost—Miracle on the Hudson is the chronicle of one of the most phenomenal feel-good stories of recent years, one that could have been a nightmare and instead became a stirring narrative of heroism and hope for our times.

Look Inside Miracle on the Hudson

Click on thumbnails for larger images

Chris Cobb hands life preservers thrown from the ferry Thomas Jefferson to Warren Holland and Victor Warnement (in the white shirt) on the right wing. (Photo © Tripp Harris)
The final group of passengers to be rescued floats on an escape slide attached to the left side of the sinking Airbus as daylight fades. (Photo © Eric Stevenson)
The smooth nose of the Airbus A320 is cracked and dented after its collision with the geese. (Photo © NTSB)



From Publishers Weekly

In a stunning display of skill and steely nerves, pilot Chesley Sullenberger managed a Hudson River water landing in freezing weather, with no engines, to save the lives of every single person aboard his aircraft. Aided by New York and New Jersey emergency responders steeped in post-9/11 training, Sullenberger and his crew did everything right when everything around them had gone horribly wrong. Interviewing survivors of flight 1549, husband-and-wife journalists Prochnau and Parker piece together a detailed, moment-by-moment account of the accident and its aftermath, getting inside the heads of ordinary people who demonstrated remarkable courage and humanity. Anyone who remembers the dramatic 2009 event will be riveted by this account, even with a forgone happy conclusion. Notably absent is the testimony of Captain Sullenberger, who saved his insights for his own book, Highest Duty, but this passengers'-eye-view narrative makes an absorbing, inspirational record.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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The story was well written.
Margaret C. Schieszer
This book brings it home and helps you see a glimpse into their harrowing personal stories of survival.
Kim C. Nees
"Miracle on the Hudson" With: William Prochnau and Laura Parker is a must read.
Trisha Koerner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Robert L. Twiss on October 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the best real-life yarns I've read in a long time. Great reporting. Great entertainment. The authors do a fine job of introducing the characters, setting the scene on that icy day, and letting you feel the emotions felt by the passengers on that plane. As a reader, I felt gripped. I almost ralphed at one point. If you love true-action thrillers, this occupies the top 10 of the year.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By David Kinchen on October 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
'Miracle on the Hudson': Survivors of US Airways Flight 1549 Recount Their Stories of the Famous Crash

Reviewed By David M. Kinchen

The news coverage of the 'Miracle on the Hudson' of Jan. 15, 2009 has focused on Capt. Chesley B. (Sully) Sullenberger's skillful landing of his 75-ton Airbus A320 on the Hudson River after bird strikes knocked out both his engines.

A month after the landing, a Greenwich Village pub, the Half Pint, created a cocktail honoring the heroic captain, "The Sully," which consists of two shots of Grey Goose vodka and "a splash of water." And, as noted below, he has his own book about the "Miracle" and his life before and after it.

"Miracle on the Hudson: The Survivors of Flight 1549 Tell Their Extraordinary Stores of Courage, Faith, and Determination" (Ballantine Books, 272 pages, $25.00) by William Prochnau and Laura Parker gives Sully his due, as well as First Officer (co-pilot) Jeffrey Skiles, who saw the flock of geese first, moments before Sully, who took over the controls. "Miracle" concentrates on the experiences and backgrounds of the passengers, 108 of whom were interviewed by the two reporters. The 108 were among the 155 passengers and crew on board the Charlotte, NC-bound U.S. Airways flight that frigid January afternoon.

The year started out with a miracle, with everybody surviving, despite some scary rescue moments, but the authors note that by mid-2009, more than 500 people had died in commercial airline crashes around the world, making it the worst year for aviation fatalities in seven years.

On Feb. 12, a Colgan Air commuter plane crashed near Buffalo, NY, killing all 49 on board and a man on the ground.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Sarah the Reader on October 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In full disclosure someone at my company was on this flight, so I was a bit more interested than the average reader. I've met him once or twice so I was very curious about his experience.

All I can say is "oh my", I truly had no idea how crazy it was on board that flight. I think everyone has some sort of fear of flying, particulary after this past spring when there were some really horrific air disasters. The writers do a good job at putting the reader right inside the plane and in a seat and eventually in the river. You can feel how frightening it was. I dont' think there was a passenger on that plane that didn't think they were going to die. I found it profound to understand all the ideas and thoughts that one thinks about when they believe they are moments away from death. I also found it interesting that most were just hoping for it to be quick and painless; they were more frightened, in some cases, of pain vs. death. Interesting!

I think the early part of the book and then the end are the best. The rescue became a little tedious and some of the story lines had me a bit confused. The seating chart at the beginning was helpful and I kept flipping back to it. (On that note, the photos were good, but I would have liked more. They were not color so that was a miss, this is 2009!) In spite of knowing the ending, I could not put it down. Overall I have to say it was a really good book and I can't wait to recommend. I would have given 5 stars but for some of the middle chapters that were a little messy.

The next time I see that man who works at my company I plan to let him know how much I enjoyed this book, even though he was only mentioned two times.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Margaret C. Schieszer on November 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
As I heard the news of the plane landing in the Hudson, I was in shock. I could not believe that someone I knew, a dear friend, was aboard that plane. I turned on the television fully expecting the news to be the usual; no survivors. When I saw the passengers standing on the wings I felt hope for their survival. The story of their short flight and rescue takes the readers on their journey. It was fascinating to read the thoughts and feelings of the passengers. We all board flights expecting them to be routine and uneventful. It was uplifting to read about the passengers overcoming their fear and supporting one another. It was inspiring to read about their collective sense of peace that this was their destiny; whether it be life or death. The story was well written. I found myself wanting to read more. I will never board a flight again and not think of the strength and courage of the passengers, flight crew and rescue workers. It was truly a gift from God to see all the passengers return home safely. I would highly recommend reading the book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Pamela K. Hillinger on November 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
When Flight 1549 landed in the Hudson river in January, 2009, the media blitz focused on Captain Sullenberger and his flawless emergency landing. Images of passengers stranded on the plane's wings were plastered everywhere. Missing from the limelight were the passengers' own personal accounts of what happened on that cold New York day. Did they know beforehand that they would land in the water? What exactly happened before, during and after impact? What was the rescue like, and was it really as easy as it looked in the photos? Most importantly, what were the lessons learned?

Authors William Prochnau and Laura Parker, both experienced reporters, personally interviewed these passengers to find the answers to these questions. They skillfully pieced together over 100 miracle stories to tell an even bigger, more exciting miracle story. These untold stories are truly fascinating, hope inspiring, and sometimes even funny. Although this is a non fiction book, it reads like a fictional thriller. It has renewed my belief in the resilience of mankind, and that miracles really do happen. I highly recommend it!
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