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Touching History: The Untold Story of the Drama That Unfolded in the Skies Over America on 9/11 Audio CD – Bargain Price, June 17, 2008

ISBN-10: 1400107601 Edition: Unabridged

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Tantor Media; Unabridged edition (June 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400107601
  • ASIN: B005UWAA9O
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 5.7 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,958,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Through meticulous research and a talent for scene-setting, Spencer delivers a minute-by-minute account of the events of September 11, 2001, through the eyes of people in the flight industry and the military. Spencer's detailed account jumps from commercial airports to military bases to executive board rooms around the country as she depicts the events and actions of all those involved in responding to the terrorist attacks. The audio acknowledges the problems with the security system, but also the resourcefulness and determination of the many people who tried to prevent the catastrophe. At first, Joyce Bean doesn't seem the right voice in a book dominated by male voices. In some of the narrative and exhaustive parts of the text, her voice doesn't provide the energy and emphasis that is needed. However, her many masculine vocal projections are distinct and match the emotional projection of each character, making her performance a very strong one. A Free Press hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 14). (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Lynn Spencer...has spent the better part of three years interviewing commercial pilots, air traffic controllers, and military officials who played significant roles on 9/11, and in Touching History: The Untold Story of the Drama That Unfolded in the Skies Over America on 9/11, she tells their compelling stories.... By bringing these events and unsung heroes to light, Spencer has done a great public service. Her book is hard to put down, and a grateful nation owes her a debt of gratitude for undertaking this project."-- Wilmington News Journal

"[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

"Prepare 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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Once I started reading this book I couldn't put it down.
Robert P. Hagan
This book takes you inside the cockpits, air traffic control centers, and headquarters of avilation / military agencies that managed the 9/11 attacks.
M. Kirkpatrick
In Touching History Lynn Spencer tackles the story from this new perspective and in so doing writes a book that is both fascinating and riveting.
Tim Challies

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Joe McCain, MSgt, USAF (Retired) on June 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Mere words cannot begin to describe the gripping reality that Ms. Spencer captured in this book. From the cockpits of jet fighters, to the flight deck of the airliners, to those who tried to make sense of it all from behind radar screens, Ms. Spencer captured the anxiety, frustration, complexity, and at times, feeling of helplessness of all those who tried desperately to protect this country. This isn't a book so much about the what happened nearly as much as it is about those whose blood, sweat and tears went into their attempts to stop it and then come to grips with it. Having spent over 3 years of her life dedicated to this project, Ms. Spencer went to the people and listened to their stories, heard the quiver in their voices and saw the pain in their eyes as they spoke. This book takes you there. It puts you on the "inside" to see first hand what was happening and allows you to witness the many obstacles that had to somehow be overcome to fight against a never before seen enemy using a never before heard of tactic against American civilians, on American soil. I can tell you that Ms. Spencer got it right and tells it in a manner anyone can understand and appreciate. She captured the heart and soul of everyone involved.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Mark on June 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is one of those rare books that are non-fiction, but pull you in like a great novel- just like you were there! The author, Lynn Spencer has done a superlative job of putting together the facts in a way that even though we know the eventual outcome we still want to read all the way to the end.
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.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Trinque VINE VOICE on July 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Lynn Spencer's "Touching History: The Untold Story of the Drama That Unfolded in the Skies Over America on 9/11" is an engrossing, compelling book about a tremendously complex event. Based upon numerous first-hand accounts and interviews, "Touching History" covers in great detail the entire breadth of 9/11 in the air: the air traffic control system, the airports, the airplanes in the sky, the air defense jets scrambled to respond to an unprecendented event.

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
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Paul Worcester on June 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
For many of us in the military that struggled that day to help put an end to the aviation madness that took place, had stories and wanted them told. We didn't want recognition or reward, we simply wanted the American public to know what happened behind the closed gates of our bases, how hard we all tried to stop what was going on, and above all else, to not let it happen again. Lynn Spencer had a vision that our stories had value and must be shared. No one else out there was listening to us, asking the difficult questions about how we felt, or gathered the true facts the 9/11 Commission missed or ignored. She knew she had one shot to get this right...and she sure did. There is no other book like this and dare say, never will be. Every American should read this!
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Michael T Kennedy VINE VOICE on July 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I picked this book up at Costco two days ago having heard nothing about it. It tells the story of the response to the 9/11 attack as it was improvised by the military, the airline pilots and the air traffic controllers. A little bit of it was shown in the movie "United 93" but in that film it appeared that the military was completely ineffective. In fact, the military response was rapid and effective but the nation's air defense command was fighting to stay in existence at the time and had extremely limited capability. In an afterward to the book, General Larry Arnold tells how he was informed by a superior that, "If everyone would turn off CNN, there wouldn't be a threat from Osama bin Laden." General Arnold was, at the time, commander of the Continental U.S. North American Air Defense Command and the statement was made two weeks before 9/11. On September 7, 2001, the Secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the USAF decided to cut off funding for air defense. On 9/11, there were only 14 jet fighters available in the entire U.S. to be scrambled for an alert and all air defense units were National Guard, many of whose pilots were also airline pilots.

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 ›
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