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Twin Towers [Kindle Edition]

Angus Kress Gillespie
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $26.00

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American History Books
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Book Description

Folklorist Angus Gillespie examines the development and daily life of the World Trade Center in New York. He covers how the engineers solved complex problems, and the contrast between the architectural community's disdain and the public acceptance of the towers as a symbol of New York.

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Among the most widely recognized of human-made structures, New York City's World Trade Center is both beloved for its photogenic skyline presence and vilified for symbolizing bloated bureaucracy and heartless modernism. These two books comprise initial attempts to flesh out the WTC's history, appraise its place in 20th-century architecture, and judge its success as urban design and economic planning. Neither author is an authority on architecture, city planning, politics, or economics, and both treat the WTC itself as a backdrop to the political maneuvering that made its creation possible. Gillespie (American studies, Rutgers) pens an absorbing account incorporating personal interviews and observations, exuding enthusiasm and empathy. In striking contrast, Darton's (cultural studies, Hunter Coll.) study brims with irony, invective, and irrelevant digressions. Where Gillespie sees the New York Port Authority, the WTC's parent, as a powerful agency struggling to fulfill its mandate to facilitate transport and commerce, Darton sees the undiluted evil of unaccountable government officials in pursuit of ignoble ends. The same events are given diametrically opposed interpretations, and a few facts appear to be in dispute. Gillespie examines the tower's planning and construction in far more depth, but both he and Darton take the same superficial approach as Tom Wolfe in From Bauhaus to Our House. For now, architecture librarians will remain better served by Anthony Robin's The World Trade Center (1987). Large urban planning collections, however, may want to add both Twin Towers and Divided We Stand as a lesson in contrasting interpretation.
-David Solt?sz, Cuyahoga Cty. P.L., Parma, OH
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"Twin Towers is a richly textured study of an important American icon that symbolizes the intertwining of capitalism and government entrepreneurship in the United States. A nicely crafted study, certain to be of interest to students of American politics and culture, and to engineers and architects." -- Jameson W. Doig, Professor of Politics and Public Affairs, Princeton University

Product Details

  • File Size: 3304 KB
  • Print Length: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press (November 1, 1999)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000SB4EQM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,248,374 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good book, but not what I expected October 5, 2001
I thought this book would have had more pictures of the construction of the towers and also some pictures of the finished towers. I wanted it as a keepsake since the Towers are now gone. however there are no pictures and only about 7 illustrations. (cross-sectional diagram, map of layout, etc)
It does contain an interesting background to the building of the Towers that is quite an interesting read.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History of the Twin Towers October 30, 2002
This book was written in 1999 as pressure was mounting for the Port Authority to turn the WTC over to a private agency. The book was reissued shortly after September 11 as the only scholarly history of the WTC. It's a fascinating study of political pressures and engineering feats.
It's impossible to discuss the World Trade Center Towers without first understanding the New York/New Jersey Port Authority. Conceptually, it was unique when it was created in 1921. Authorities - quasi-governmental agencies that were authorized to build projects and then levy user fees to pay for them - had a long and well-established history in England. What made this new authority unique in 1921, when it was created to build the Holland Tunnel, was that it was granted a charter to build facilities, i.e., multiple projects.
The idea for the WTC was conceived during a period of relentless optimism [Kenney] but "completed during a period of national gloom and retreat [Vietnam, 1970's, and Nixon's collapse.]" There were political aspects, aside from the desire to build the world's tallest building, and there was always the pressure from New Jersey to reduce bridge and tunnel tolls. A new project that would use these surplus funds would help to relieve that pressure. It was a project that was lauded by the critics at first, then reviled, only to be resurrected in the minds of New Yorkers, but never as an architectural triumph. It had the misfortune to fall between two architectural periods: International Style, with massive amounts of glass, and Postmodern, which represented a return to the more colorful and decorative building facades. Its Japanese architect, Minoru Yamasaki, used unique aluminum curtain walls that had been dyed to reflect light in unusual ways.
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53 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twin Towers is a must read! December 27, 1999
By A Customer
As the Statue of Liberty is known around the world as the symbol of America and freedom, the Twin Towers are recognized around the world as the symbol of America and power. Angus Gillespie's "Twin Towers" sneaks the reader past security to see what it really took to create these modern day monuments to human greatness. The book also lets the reader peer through the eyes of the myriad of different people who work in the building, maintain the building, and even those who try to destroy the building. Simply fascinating!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Where are the photos November 5, 2001
By CattO
Having worked at One World Trade from 1985-1987 and being a native New Yorker, I ordered this book thinking I would at least get a better understanding on the construction of the towers with photos to document the history. Unfortunately those photos do not exist in this book. There a few diagrams, but no photos worth while in the book. So if you're looking for a basic understanding and would like to see the building of the towers(via photos)and to see the "city within a city" that it was, this isn't the book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a Fluff Piece, Serious Stuff October 29, 2001
This is a serious history of the conception and creation of not only the building, but the idea behind the building, the politics behind it, and the actual intellectual processes involved.
A very enganging read. Probably does not bode well for a rebuilding of the towers however, as many thought the buildings should not have been built in the first place.
The chapter on the actual working of the building was far too short for me, perhaps the author will go back to his notes, which he states are extensive, and give us a posthumous account of all the great stories people told about the building (of which only two or three are included).
Don't buy the book if you're looking for pictures, just a few diagrams and such are included.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Needed some photos to make it Complete October 4, 2001
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I don't know what the authors were thinking, but to write a book like this, which will no doubt be in HUGE demand now, and not put photographs inside, is clearly not wise. If it were not for the awesome cover shot of these steel phantoms, we would not have even a glimpse inside of the beauty that once was before September 11, 2001. Having lived in New York City all my life, I witnessed these towers crumble, and I can't get my hands on enough stuff even remotely related to them, this is why I ordered this book. However, this is wonderful to read -- not to look through. Informative and well written, it certainly includes thorough coverage.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Life of NYC's World Trade Center January 12, 2002
I picked up this book after the attacks of September 11th to find out more about the buildings that I had often seen in the distance, but had never known much about. I had never been in the World Trade Center, never visited the observation deck, nor eaten at Windows on the World. I found this book very helpful in providing much information about who built it, and how. It also gives a good perspective on what it was like to work in the building.
And it is with that perspective that I recommend this book to others. Not anticipating the sudden and tragic demise of the towers when it was written 1n 1999, the book celebrates the life of the World Trade Center. The last part focuses on the day-to-day lives of the people of the towers and can be especially hard to read after the staggering loss of life on the day the buildings collapsed. I don't think I could read this book right now if the towers were a part of my life before that tragic day. So for the many people for whom the World Trade Center before September 11th was just a recognizable part of the New York skyline, and are interested in learning more about it now that it has so suddenly and completely been destroyed, this is a good book to read. For those whose lives were tied to the buildings in some way, this book may be too close, like a letter from a battlefield soldier that arrives after his or her death.
The book starts out with the background of the organization that planned and built the World Trade Center, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. This is a fascinating story in itself about the growth of a small interstate agency that started its life connecting New York and New Jersey with bridges and tunnels and went on to build the tallest and largest buildings in the area.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thank you for this fantastic item
Published 7 months ago by Ron B
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting!!!!!
Well... I only heard about twin towers and was interested in learning more so i went to look for books and i saw this one and i was happy and i bought it and i started reading it... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Kay
5.0 out of 5 stars love this
this is a detailed fun guide to the twin towers. a must buy. fascinating. recommend this to all politicians. it explains about the life in the metropolitan.
Published on July 4, 2012 by Robert
2.0 out of 5 stars Comments from a structural engineer
While of three books I've read on the subject, this gives the most detail on construction, it still feels a little light, leaving off construction essentially at the foundation and... Read more
Published on December 27, 2007 by expatrie
5.0 out of 5 stars The Complete History of a Tragedy that was bound to happen
This book gives a inside view of the birth and the death of the World Trade Center. It shows how the rush to construct this late edifice led to many defects that were exposed on... Read more
Published on September 30, 2002 by rodog63jr
4.0 out of 5 stars 2-star coffee table book becomes 4-star window into history
Let's be honest. If September 11, 2001 doesn't happen, this is a two-dollar steal at a Kiwanis Club book sale. But now, Mr. Read more
Published on April 2, 2002 by Book Buff
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
This book describes what went into the desigin, planning and construction of the World Trade Centers. Read more
Published on March 25, 2002 by Michael Szyska
4.0 out of 5 stars The Port Authority's WTC
Twin Towers is one of the few successful endeavors to capture the spirit of the World Trade Center. It is not a photo album, and it only contains a few black and white figures. Read more
Published on February 24, 2002 by gsebastian
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull and duller
This has to be one of the dullest and least insightful titles addressing the World Trade Center -- and just because it was written before the attack is no excuse! Read more
Published on February 15, 2002 by D. Colman
1.0 out of 5 stars VERY DISAPPOINTING
I expected a wonderfully illustrated book with great photography, but was very disappointed when the book arrived. Not only was it dull, the paper quality was poor. Read more
Published on January 2, 2002 by Kern
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