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Nine Months at Ground Zero: The Story of the Brotherhood of Workers Who Took on a Job Like No Other Hardcover – April 25, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; 1ST edition (April 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743270401
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743270403
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #882,645 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When the World Trade Center fell, construction superintendent Vitchers and crane operator Gray were among the hundreds of workers hired by one of the management firms selected by New York City's Department of Design and Construction to recover bodies and clear debris. The authors recall how tensions grew between construction workers and fire and police personnel as the latter focused their efforts on recovering the bodies of their colleagues, slighting civilian casualties, who received no honor guard or a flag as they were carried out of the pit. Aided by freelancer Stout, Vitchers and Gray have harsh words for the DDC, which often put bureaucratic and political concerns above the recovery process: "The faster and cheaper the work was done, the better the DDC would look." Morale was low, site safety was problematic and chaos often reigned at ground zero. Although it has some worthy moments—particularly, the demythologizing of the firefighters, the shoring up of the unstable slurry wall and the logistics of removing millions of tons of debris from a burial ground—this feels like an also-ran among the mass of 9/11 titles. 8 pages of color photos not seen by PW. (Apr. 25)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Although the attacks on the Twin Towers on 9/11 are etched into our consciousness, few of us understand the enormity of the task of the subsequent search and rescue and protracted debris removal. The shots of the site with the coming and going of trucks is the most any of us remember about the grueling cleanup project. As the men who originally built the towers, coauthors Charles Vitchers and Robert Gray were uniquely qualified to help. Unasked, they devoted nine months of their lives, not to mention the stress, sleep deprivation, and loss of family life that went along with it. The scale and complexity is nearly unfathomable: 400 million pounds of twisted steel; 600,000 square feet of thick shattered glass; and mountains of the trappings of office life, including chairs, desks, and other furnishings; all mixed with the scattered remains of almost 3,000 victims. Through this account of their heroic effort, beginning at the moment of first impact, we can begin to get a sense of what the men and women went through who dealt with the tragedy firsthand. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Glenn Stout is the author, editor or ghostwriter of nearly eighty books, including the groundbreaking Boston Globe bestseller Fenway 1912: The Birth of a Ballpark, a Championship Season, and Fenway's Remarkable First Year, bestsellers Red Sox Century and Yankees Century, and the critically acclaimed Nine Months at Ground Zero, The Best American Sports Writing, and Young Woman and The Sea: How Trudy Ederle Conquered the English Channel and Inspired the Worldand his own award winning juvenile sports biography series - "Good Sports." Glenn is available to make author visits, deliver lectures on the history of Fenway Park and make other speaking engagements to the writing community. He also serves as Editor of SB Nation Longform, producing high quality longform sports journalism.

Born in Ohio and a graduate of Bard College, Glenn is dual citizen of the United States and Canada and lives in Vermont with his family, two cats, one dog and one rabbit on Lake Champlain. Before becoming a writer Glenn did construction work, served as a security guard, a painter, and worked in libraries. Glenn invites his readers to his blog, to join his facebook page for The Best American Sports Writing, or to visit his website, glennstout.net. Anyone interested in arranging an "author visit" should query Glenn directly at basweditor@yahoo.com.

Thanks for reading!

Customer Reviews

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My husband loves to read it all the time!
Barbara J Lytle
Reading it left me with a new understanding of what happened there, and a much greater appreciation for their efforts in making it happen.
Sean T. Coakley
This book is a terrific account of the story of the recovery from the Pile to the Pit at the WTC Site.
Tom L.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Christen Jones on April 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Wonderful book that captures what really went on to clear out Ground Zero and how recoveries were handled.. Charlie Vitchers is an amazing man and is so modest for all that he accomplished. He brought compassion to recovery. Without his direction and authority recovery and clear up would have been chaotic. I highly recommend this book if you want to know what really happened at Ground Zero on Sept 11, 2001
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tom L. on May 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is a terrific account of the story of the recovery from the Pile to the Pit at the WTC Site. In contrast with the twisted and bitter 'American Ground' written by William Langewiesche some years ago, 'Nine Months's firsthand hand accounts from the rank and file men and women from the FDNY, NYPD and Constuction Trade show the human efforts and bursting hearts that forged those involved in the recovery into a band of brothers. Their desperate efforts and hopes again inspire us through this account.

It was worth waiting for until now to hear their stories in their own words and much applause to Glenn Stout, Charlie Vitchers and Robert Gray for putting this together for the rest of us. No one should miss it.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By James Mcspedon on April 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Thank you Bobby, for imortalizing the experience, and heartache, of us all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bridget on March 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I never really gave much thought on what the workers went through or experienced at ground zero. How their plan came together to tackle a heart breaking job as ground zero. Well worth reading about what the men went through on a day to day basis. And the respect they all gave remembering someones love one or their remains could be found.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Scott Downes on May 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The "outside world" owes a debt of gratitude to the men and women who worked hard to respectfully recover those who were killed on 9/11.

This book goes a long way to bring those of use who observed from afar closer to what happened in the aftermath.

The courage to step up and the morality to do what is right is imbedded in these individuals.

Thank you.
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By Lawyer in NY on June 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
For all the crowds who were compelled to come to Ground Zero in those first traumatic months to see for themselves, pay their respects or simply offer moral support, most did not get close enough to see what these men and women who worked "The Pile" saw. Their lives will never be the same. Dedicated first and foremost to bringing home the victims, cutting a giant tangle of twisted steel and pushing compressed concrete--1.8 million tons of "debris"--the ironworkers, heavy equipment operators and other tradesmen who worked the site were heroic in their selfless determination to work fast and see the job through to the end. Reporters were not allowed inside and workers who talked to them could be fired. Unprepared for the horror they would see but pushing through, day after day to get the job done, these men and women came together in an unspoken bond which could not be breached, even by members of their own family. This is a story everyone should know. God bless them all.
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