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Touching History: The Untold Story of the Drama That Unfolded in the Skies Over America on 9/11 Unabridged Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
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"[P]repare for a quick takeoff with Lynn Spencer's Touching History...the personal interviews and Cockpit Voice Recorder transcripts of conversations between pilots and controllers are riveting.... The transcripts provide the book with a sense of immediacy, as though the reader was in the cockpit or control tower, while the interviews offer important background and context.... Spencer's book is worth reading as a thoroughly researched, clearly written account that offers new insights into that fateful day that changed America forever." -- BookPage
"Spencer shows how, with an American public stupefied by the unimaginable airline attacks on its homeland on 9/11, civil aviation and military circles joined forces quickly to fathom, manage, and defend against a then-unknown enemy....An impressively researched and compellingly written narrative of one of America's worst catastrophes..." -- Library Journal
"We need this book! Far too few Americans really understand what happened in the aviation system of the United States on 9/11: The heroic and selfless decisions and the heartrending attempts of airmen and controllers to respond to a developing catastrophe despite the lack of a viable domestic air defense system. Lynn Spencer has done a masterful job of researching, and then weaving together the story of that day in real-time, pulse-pounding prose. If this superb work doesn't invigorate a revolution in the way we view the role of air defense for the domestic United States, nothing will. Lynn Spencer's Touching History is a deeply moving and page-turning insider's brief of what really happened in the aviation system on 9/11. There are many heroes here you never met, struggling to respond with an all-but-dismantled system of American air defense." -- John Nance, bestselling author, Aviation Analyst for ABC World News, and Aviation Editor for Good Morning America
"Riveting! On that horrible day -- the first battle in a new and terrible form of war in the new century -- there were many heroes. Lynn Spencer introduces us firsthand to those who confronted an unprecedented threat, from desperate air traffic controllers, to government officials, to cities. We all must remember that day, and this fascinating and gripping history of the drama in the skies that day is a must read." -- Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations for UN Management and Reform
"One cannot fully conceptualize 9/11 until reading Lynn Spencer's book, Touching History. Witness how military and civilian commanders and pilots, air traffic controllers, and airline personnel responded to this 21st century attack on United States soil. Through firsthand interviews, she puts us in the cockpits, the control rooms, and on the tarmacs. Insightful. Exciting. Important. You won't put it down." -- General Richard B. Myers, Ret., Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"As commander of NORAD, I watched 9/11 unfold. Lynn Spencers tells it all and tells it well -- an enthralling read." -- Ralph E. Eberhart, General USAF (ret.) Former Commander, NORAD and Aerospace Defense Command
"Lynn Spencer has captured the essence of the terror of that day and the courage of the men and women who experienced first-hand the fallout of these horrific attacks and rose to answer the call in their nation's hour of need." -- Patrick Forrey, President of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association
"The 9-11 Commission missed it, but Lynn Spencer nails it -- the dynamite, inside story of heroism on that fateful day. You'll live through hellish decisions with the real players. Well-written, breathtaking." -- Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Don Shepperd, co-author Bury Us Upside Down, CNN Military Analyst --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
When I first began reading, I thought the story would center on the four hijacked flights- but those stories have already been largely told. Rather, she tells the "big picture" of how those four incidents touched off an incredible series of events that affected tens of thousands of people that day and how individuals in extremely tense and difficult circumstances made the decisions that kept a very bad situation from becoming catastrophic.
It can be seen in retrospect that our air traffic control system had many faults in dealing with this crisis, but it was the individuals involved that rose above the technical difficulties and "standard operating procedures" to make our skies safe that awful day.
This is their story and we all owe a debt of gratitude to them for what they accomplished- all of the air controllers, civilian and military, leadership on the ground and of course all of the many, many pilots and aircrew who had to deal with something completely extraordinary.
This book brought it all back and made me feel many of the same emotions I felt on 9/11.
Personally, I feel we all need to remember what took place that day so that it will NEVER happen again.
Spencer herself is a commercial pilot and flight instructor, so she brings a particular sensitivity and understanding to a complex subject, and she tells the story superbly well. Along the way she addresses a number of misconceptions about what happened, and did not happen, that day. The depth of detail is extraordinary, rendering an unusually vivid picture of events. "Touching History" is filled not with cold, hard facts, but with moments of great human drama. In the end, I was left with a strong feeling of admiration for those men and women -- pilots, air crew, air controllers, National Guard pilots -- who acted so swiftly to bring manageable order out of extreme chaos
In spite of this critical weakness, by two hours after the first airliner hit the World Trade Center, there was a combat air patrol over Washington. They were there in time to stop United 93, had that been necessary. The rapid response by Air Force, Air National Guard and FAA personnel, often using telephones to relay information between incompatible communication systems, was totally improvised by the people involved. This story has not been told before and it makes a gripping tale.
It was not all locking the barn door after the horse was gone, either.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book is well written. The tension is felt , the sentences are terse and well built. All the persons involved are positive heroes and besides their names there is no differences... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Erica Hoffer
This was an interesting read that gave a different perspective of the events of 911.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Reads like a Clancy novel with facts and accounts we need to know. I highly recommend this book to all.Published 8 months ago by L. Parkhouse
A bit technical but a very good read.
You'll be surprised and learn ALOT about the behind the scenes happenings. Read more
Outstanding Chronicle of a day never to be forgotten with a multitude of events occurring which we never could have imagined without the revelations documented in this amazing... Read morePublished 11 months ago by R H Sheridan
This book is fascinating in the way i loks "behind the scens" of 9/11.
Glad to ave heard ablut it