Report from Ground Zero

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The tragic events of September 11, 2001, forever altered the American landscape, both figuratively and literally. Immediately after the jets struck the twin towers of the World Trade Center, Dennis Smith, a former firefighter, reported to Manhattan’s Ladder Co. 16 to volunteer in the rescue efforts. In the weeks that followed, Smith was present on the front lines, attending to the wounded, sifting through the wreckage, and mourning with New York’s devastated fire and police departments.

This is Smith’s vivid account of the rescue efforts by the fire and police departments and emergency medical teams as they rushed to face a disaster that would claim thousands of lives. Smith takes readers inside the minds and lives of the rescuers at Ground Zero as he shares stories about these heroic individuals and the effect their loss had on their families and their companies. “It is,” says Smith, “the real and living history of the worst day in America since Pearl Harbor.” Written with drama and urgency, Report from Ground Zero honors the men and women who—in America’s darkest hours—redefined our understanding of courage.

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About the author

Dennis Smith, a former New York City firefighter, is the founding editor of Firehouse Magazine and the bestselling author of eleven books, including Report from Ground Zero, Report from Engine Co. 82, and A Song for Mary. He is currently chairman of First Responders Financial Company.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Feb 25, 2003
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Pages
416
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ISBN
9781101213155
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
History / United States / 21st Century
Literary Collections / Essays
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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A New York Memoir is about a life lived in New York City over a period of thirty years. The memoir begins in 1975, with author Richard Goodman's arrival in New York, an intimidated newcomer. It follows him through the years as he encounters some of the remarkable people one meets in New York, while harkening back to the inspiration the city provides, especially for artists and young writers. The memoir follows the author as he witnesses tragedies and then ruminates on growing old in New York. It tells of the joys and the difficulties of living in this remarkable city. A New York Memoir is, essentially, a long love letter to the city. Like all great loves, this volume reflects passion, promise, hope, pain, regret and, ultimately, the author's pride. This includes true stories of love, work, marriage, raising a child, becoming a writer, death, and friendship. Most of the stories in this effort take place there; those that do not are highly influenced by New York. The author has seen New York at its best and at its worst, when was it rich and freewheeling and when it fell on hard times and almost collapsed. He's seen it grievously wounded, and seen it pick itself back up again with the help of the entire world and with its own limitless moxie. This is a very personal story set against the backdrop of a massive city of unmatchable energy and of sheer, brute authority and inspiration. The book ends with a long remembrance of the author's mother who came to New York after many travails and was rescued by the city. This is the story of Richard Goodman's encounter with New York. **See Richard Goodman read an excerpt from A New York Memoir titled, "Elegy for an English Bike," here."http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zS9sMJXJ1L8"
Faith. Trust. Triumph.

“I’m sorry,” the doctor said. “He is permanently and totally blind. There is nothing we can do for him.”

George and Sarah Hingson looked at each other, devastated. Their six-month-old son, Michael was a happy, strawberry blond baby boy, healthy and normal in every way except one. When the Hingsons switched on a light or made silly faces, Michael did not react. Ever. “My best suggestion is that you send him to a home for the blind,” the doctor continued. “He will never be able to do anything for himself.”

Forty-seven years later, a yellow Labrador retriever puppy was born in the whelping unit of Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, California. The puppy’s name was Roselle. On September 11, 2001, she saved Michael’s life. This is Roselle’s story too.

—From the Introduction

Every moment in Michael Hingson’s and Roselle’s lives seemed to lead up to this day. When one of four hijacked planes flew into the World Trade Center’s north tower on September 11, 2001, Michael Hingson, a district sales manager for a data protection and network security systems company, was sitting down for a meeting. His guide dog, Roselle, was at his feet. Paired for twenty-one months, man and dog spent that time forging a bond of trust, much like police partners who trust their lives to each other.

Michael couldn’t see a thing, but he could hear the sounds of shattering glass, falling debris, and terrified people flooding around him and Roselle. However, Roselle sat calmly beside him. In that moment, Michael chose to trust Roselle’s judgment and not to panic. They were a team.

Thunder Dog is a story that will forever change your spirit and your perspective. It illuminates Hingson’s lifelong determination to achieve parity in a sighted world and how the rare trust between a man and his guide dog can inspire an unshakable faith in each one of us.

A memoir of one young man's coming of age on a journey across America--told through the stories of the people of all ages, races, and inclinations he meets along the way.

Life is fast, and I've found it's easy to confuse the miraculous for the mundane, so I'm slowing down, way down, in order to give my full presence to the extraordinary that infuses each moment and resides in every one of us.

At 23, Andrew Forsthoefel headed out the back door of his home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, with a backpack, an audio recorder, his copies of Whitman and Rilke, and a sign that read "Walking to Listen." He had just graduated from Middlebury College and was ready to begin his adult life, but he didn't know how. So he decided to take a cross-country quest for guidance, one where everyone he met would be his guide.

In the year that followed, he faced an Appalachian winter and a Mojave summer. He met beasts inside: fear, loneliness, doubt. But he also encountered incredible kindness from strangers. Thousands shared their stories with him, sometimes confiding their prejudices, too. Often he didn't know how to respond. How to find unity in diversity? How to stay connected, even as fear works to tear us apart? He listened for answers to these questions, and to the existential questions every human must face, and began to find that the answer might be in listening itself.

Ultimately, it's the stories of others living all along the roads of America that carry this journey and sing out in a hopeful, heartfelt book about how a life is made, and how our nation defines itself on the most human level.
"BAGHDAD WAS BURNING."

With these words, Ambassador L. Paul "Jerry" Bremer begins his gripping memoir of fourteen danger-filled months as America's proconsul in Iraq. My Year in Iraq is the only senior insider's perspective on the crucial period following the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime. In vivid, dramatic detail, Bremer reveals the previously hidden struggles among Iraqi politicians and America's leaders, taking us from the ancient lanes in the holy city of Najaf to the White House Situation Room and the Pentagon E-Ring.

His memoir carries the reader behind closed doors in Baghdad during hammer-and-tongs negotiations with emerging Iraqi leaders as they struggle to forge the democratic institutions vital to Iraq's future of hope. He describes his private meetings with President Bush and his admiration for the president's firm wartime leadership. And we witness heated sessions among members of America's National Security Council -- George Bush, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, and Condoleezza Rice -- as Bremer labors to realize the vision he and President Bush share of a free and democratic New Iraq. He admires the selfless and courageous work of thousands of American servicemen and -women and civilians in Iraq.

The flames Bremer describes on arriving in Baghdad were from fires started by looters. One of his first acts was to request an additional 4,000 Military Police to help restore order in the streets. For most of the next year, as the insurgency spread, Bremer resisted efforts by generals and senior Defense Department civilians to reduce American troop strength prematurely, replacing our forces with ill-trained, poorly led Iraqi police and soldiers. And he lays to rest the myth that the Coalition disbanded Saddam's army, a force comprised of Shiite draftees who had deserted and refused to serve under their former Sunni officers. Bremer also describes his frustration with intelligence operations that concentrated on the search for weapons of mass destruction while the insurgency gathered strength.

Bremer faced daunting problems working with Iraq's traumatized and divided population to find a path to a responsible and representative government. The Shia Arabs, the country's long-repressed majority, deeply distrusted the Sunni Arab minority who had held power for centuries and had controlled the detested Baath Party. Iraq's non-Arab Kurds teetered on the brink of secession when Bremer arrived. He had to find Sunnis willing to participate in the new political order.

Some in the U.S. government pushed for what Bremer would come to call a cut-and-run policy that would have quickly delivered governance of Iraq to a handful of unrepresentative anti-Saddam exiles. Bremer vigorously resisted this ill-conceived course. He takes the reader inside marathon negotiations as he and his team shepherded Iraq's new leaders to write an interim constitution with guarantees for individual and minority rights unprecedented in the region.
My Year in Iraq is required reading for all those interested in the real story of how America responded to its gravest recent overseas crisis.
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