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The dramatic and moving account of the struggle for life inside the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, when every minute countedAt 8:46 am on September 11, 2001, 14,000 people were inside the twin towers-reading e-mails, making trades, eating croissants at Windows on the World. Over the next 102 minutes, each would become part of a drama for the ages, one wThe dramatic and moving account of the struggle for life inside the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, when every minute countedAt 8:46 am on September 11, 2001, 14,000 people were inside the twin towers-reading e-mails, making trades, eating croissants at Windows on the World. Over the next 102 minutes, each would become part of a drama for the ages, one witnessed only by the people who lived it-until now. Of the millions of words written about this wrenching day, most were told from the outside looking in. New York Times reporters Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn have taken the opposite-and far more revealing-approach. Reported from the perspectives of those inside the towers, 102 Minutes captures the little-known stories of ordinary people who took extraordinary steps to save themselves and others. Beyond this stirring panorama stands investigative reporting of the first rank. An astounding number of people actually survived the plane impacts but were unable to escape, and the authors raise hard questions about building safety and tragic flaws in New York's emergency preparedness.Dwyer and Flynn rely on hundreds of interviews with rescuers, thousands of pages of oral histories, and countless phone, e-mail, and emergency radio transcripts. They cross a bridge of voices to go inside the infernos, seeing cataclysm and heroism, one person at a time, to tell the affecting, authoritative saga of the men and women-the nearly 12,000 who escaped and the 2,749 who perished-as they made 102 minutes count as never before. 102 Minutes is a 2005 National Book Award Finalist for Nonfiction....

Title : 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers
Author :
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ISBN : 9780805076820
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 322 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers Reviews

  • Matt
    2019-06-03 05:52

    The last moments of Kevin Cosgrove’s life were presented as the Government’s Exhibit P200017 in the case of United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui. Originally labeled the “20th hijacker,” Moussaoui was eventually tried as part of a conspiracy to launch a second wave of attacks against the United States, following September 11, 2001. Exhibit P200017 is a split-screen video: on the right side of the screen is the South Tower of the World Trade Center; on the left side of the screen, you see the transcript of Cosgrove’s final call to 911 dispatch, which begins at 9:53 a.m. The audio of Cosgrove’s call plays over the split screen, while the tower burns and the seconds slip away. The entirety of the call (though it is clear that Cosgrove made several others) lasts 4 minutes and 53 seconds. It is a remarkable and agonizing thing to hear. Cosgrove is clearly in a desperate situation, but though he is anxious, he doesn’t panic. Over and over, he demands to know when help will arrive. The 911 dispatcher tries to placate him with generalities; Cosgrove, however, won’t accept that as an answer. During this striking colloquy, there are several instances when the 911 dispatcher lapses into silence, to the point where Cosgrove has to ask whether she is still there. It is clear that the dispatcher simply doesn’t know what to say; and really, there is nothing for her to say. She probably didn’t know it at the time, but there was no power on heaven and earth that could’ve reached Kevin Cosgrove on the 105th Floor of Tower 2. Indeed, from the first moments of the disaster, a fire chief reportedly told New York’s mayor Rudy Giuliani that rescue above the impact zones was impossible. As the call plays out, Cosgrove displays flashes of understandable anger. He is annoyed at having to repeatedly give the dispatcher information he has already relayed (he angrily spells out his last name, which are displayed in all-caps on the Government’s transcription). When the dispatcher tells him to “hang in there,” Cosgrove responds: “You can say that. You’re in an air conditioned building.” Later, after describing the smoke filling the office, he says plaintively: “We’re young men. We’re not ready to die.” Four minutes and forty seconds into the video, there is a tremendous rush of sound. The video on the right side of the screen shows the top portion of Tower 2 fold in on itself and begin to collapse. Cosgrove’s last words – “OH GOD! OH!” – end abruptly, and a computerized voice logs the message number. He was one of 614 people who died in Tower 2, and one of 2,606 people who died in New York that day. For obvious reasons, including the mass casualties and the fact the disaster played out on live television, the tragedy of the Twin Towers has come to symbolize September 11. In 102 Minutes, reporters Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn accept this reality and narrowly focus their story on the World Trade Center and the individuals within. The title refers to the length of time it took for both towers to collapse, following the first plane strike. Chapter 1 begins at 8:46 a.m., when Tower 1 is struck by American Airlines 11, and ends around 10:30 a.m., after Tower 1 has fallen (Tower 2, though hit second, fell first, due to the location of impact). This is a book with a closed universe. Aside from a very brief prologue, meant to give a little context, there is no attempt to give a broad-stroke account of 9/11. There are no discussions about intelligence failures. No cutaways to the passengers on the hijacked jets. No mention of Bin Laden. No talk of politics. No arguments about post-9/11 foreign policy. This is a stripped down, gristle-free story of survival. Minute by minute it follows a broad swath of humanity – bankers and window washers, insurers and caterers, firemen and cops – as they struggle against the greatest high rise disaster in history. And always, the clock is winding down to the 102nd minute. 102 Minutes is the kind of book that grabs you by the throat and compels you to continue reading. In a way, it is a throwback to those old Readers Digest special features that told the personal stories of disaster survivors, such as those who escaped the Andria Doria. Make no mistake, however: the momentum of the story never makes you lose sight of the human dimension. To the contrary, the momentum is created by the very acute knowledge that these were real people in the not-too-distant past. The subtitle of 102 Minutes purports to tell the “untold” story of the Twin Towers. Published six years ago, the incidents in 102 Minutes no longer qualify as untold (indeed, in a tenth anniversary reissue, the book has a new subtitle that substitutes the adjective “unforgettable”). To the contrary, many of the survivors and events recounted in the book have passed into legend and lore. This includes the amazing saga of Stairway B in the North Tower, in which six members of Ladder 6, along with bookkeeper Josephine Harris, weathered the collapse. Still, the power of the stories remain undiminished. For example, there is Brian Clark, a broker for Euro Bank in Tower 2, who was one of only four survivors above the impact zone. Clark, armed with a flashlight because he was his floor’s fire warden, helped rescue Stanley Praimnath, who then surprised him with a hug and kiss. Their story is one of rare instances of levity on 9/11. As a study in contrasts – Clark, a white Canadian with a lilting voice; Praimnath, brown-skinned and reserved – the two wouldn’t have been out of place in a buddy cop movie. Flynn & Dwyer also tell of the remarkable escape from a stalled elevator. In that elevator, a quick-witted window washer named Jan Demczur used the metal frame of his squeegee to cut through dry wall. Unfortunately, most of the stories recounted by Dwyer & Flynn lack a happy ending. There is Abe Zelmanowitz, a computer programmer, who refused to leave the side of his friend, Ed Beyea, a quadriplegic who could not get down the steps. There is Fire Marshal Ron Bucca, who along with Chief Orio Palmer, were the only known firefighters to reach the impact zone. And there is Port Authority construction manager Frank De Martini, who worked on the 88th floor of the North Tower; after the collision, he worked to pry open jammed doors on twelve floors around the crash zone. None of these men survived. Whether it is a story of survival, or a story of loss, Dwyer and Flynn maintain the same, reportorial tone. Their style is objective and unadorned. The emotional wallop of 102 Minutes does not come from mawkish sentiments or high-flown rhetoric, but from the stories themselves, and from the known words of both the living and the dead. Dwyer & Flynn do more than record 102 minutes of suffering and survival, doom and escape. They intercut these chapters with detailed and eye-opening examinations about the safety and security of the World Trade Center, and the effectiveness of the rescue operations. (Besides being informative, these breaks give the reader a chance to breath after the sustained intensity of the central narrative). Dwyer & Flynn raise serious concerns about the construction of the Twin Towers, noting that their very design ensured the deaths of just about every worker above the impact zones. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,500 people – a number eerily similar to the fatalities on the Titanic – survived the impacts of the airplanes. These folks, however, had no way to escape. Partially, this was due to changes in the building code, which relied heavily on new materials to ensure safety: [T]he 1968 code eliminated the need for reinforced staircases and vestibules. Not only the fire towers disappeared. So did half the staircases. The 1968 code reduced the number of stairways required for buildings the size of the towers from six to three. Moreover, those three would have less protection, as the new code lowered the minimum fire resistance for walls around the shafts from three hours to two, and permitted them to be built from much less sturdy material. All these changes offered significant financial opportunities…They would increase the space available for rent by getting rid of stairways and make the building lighter by lowering the fire resistance and eliminating the requirements for masonry.On September 11, the collision of the two jets into the Twin Towers starkly proved the necessity for better fireproofing measures and more staircases. This reality is ably reinforced by the inclusion of a number of helpful schematics and diagrams showing the layouts of the buildings from different angles. The most effective of these diagrams show the impact of the planes superimposed on the floor plans, highlighting the number of support beams damaged and stairwells blocked. To their credit, Dwyer & Flynn also critique the emergency response to Twin Towers attacks. This is potentially uncomfortable territory, as it encroaches on our most cherished memories from that awful day: the heroic response of the New York Fire Department. Following 9/11, many Americans clung to the effectiveness of the emergency operations, even when everything else – our intelligence community, our airport security, our immigration offices, and our steel – seemed to fail. Mayor Giuliani spearheaded the charge, noting that tens of thousands of people had been rescued from the Towers. In 102 Minutes, that conventional narrative is turned on its head. With journalistic precision, Dwyer & Flynn recount the miscues of the rescue operation. Most of these miscues come down to one word: communication. There were no amplifiers or repeaters to strengthen radio signals; the fire department could not communicate with the police department; the 911 system was overwhelmed. This led to an ad hoc operation resulting in disastrous – and in some cases unnecessary – fatalities. Firemen charged into the building carrying hundreds of pounds of equipment, including thick coils of hose, even though fire commanders knew from the beginning that they could not fight the fire. After the first tower fell, there was no way to get word to all the units in the second tower, and the consequences were predictable:Nearly all the 6,000 civilians below the impact zone had left the north tower by the time of its collapse, a fact hard to square with the notion that most of the approximately 200 firefighters who died in the north tower could not get out because they were busy helping civilians. In the oral histories collected by the Fire Department, numerous firefighters recalled that they were unaware of how serious the situation had become in those final minutes. This does not mean that the firefighters were not a welcome and uplifting presence…Yet…[that presence] does not explain why so many firefighters died in a building they could have escaped and where there was scarcely anyone left who could be helped. On the 19th floor of the north tower, scores of doomed firefighters were seen…taking a rest break in the final minutes, coats off, axes against the wall, soaked in sweat…Defenders of the response point to the unprecedented nature of the World Trade Center attacks. But that argument ignores the 1993 bombing of the North Tower. In that incident, all these same issues – mainly, an utter lack of communication – cropped up. In the intervening years, they were not remedied. In this light, Mayor Giuliani’s repetition of the conventional narrative seems designed to cover his own failure to press the issue of better equipment and communication. Dwyer & Flynn also fault him for locating the Office of Emergency Management in World Trade Center 7, right next door to the biggest (both literally and figuratively) terrorist targets in the universe. No one can impugn Giuliani’s personal bravery on the day of the attacks, which allowed him to step into the leadership vacuum left by a hightailing President Bush; however, his failure to replace faulty equipment and his inability to display tactical leadership loom large over that day. Dwyer & Flynn take great pains to separate the chaos of the emergency response from the courage of the first responders. No one can overstate the guts it takes to rush into a burning building when everyone else is heading the opposite direction. Yet the courage of the firefighters was not a suicidal courage. They did not know what they were getting into: initially, the worst they feared was a partial collapse of the top floors; they did not hear early reports from helicopter crews that the buildings seemed to be weakening; and the men in Tower 1 did not know when Tower 2 fell. A failure in leadership squandered a lot of brave men. The enduring image of the Twin Towers attacks will probably always remain the heroic rescuers. But the best thing 102 Minutes does is to show the courage of the ordinary workers, those people who kept their heads about them, even without years of training and conditioning. Just about everyone below the impact zones – some 12,000 people – survived. And they weren’t rescued; they saved themselves, evacuating in what Dwyer & Flynn call a “mass of civility.” Meanwhile, civilians such as window washer Demczur and manager De Martini saved lives with their gut impulses. Even those trapped above the impact zones, waiting to die, often kept an amazingly serene presence. These were people who were thinking and gathering information and problem solving till the final moments. Before he died, Kevin Cosgrove tramped down 20 floors before he was turned back by smoke and heat. Others tried desperately to reach the roof, knowing that rooftop rescues had been effectuated in 1993. Ten years later, 9/11 is still an open wound. Alone among all the tragedies in the history of the world, it seems to stand outside the realm of art. (Fifteen hundred people died in the second highest-grossing film ever, but that probably didn't stop you from getting a large popcorn and soda). Every time a book is written, or a movie made, or a television program aired, or a song is sung about 9/11, a dozen scolds pop up to tell you the mere act of consuming such media is sacrilegious. Accordingly, even a sober-minded, clear-eyed, ground-level view of this tragedy prompts a rejoinder from a certain segment of society: what’s the point? Why write another book about 9/11, a disaster just about every American saw unfold in real-time? The question certainly arose with the publication of 102 Minutes. Not only is it about 9/11, it is also a very good book. Since good books are often entertaining to read, this leads us into dangerous territory.The short term answer is that 102 Minutes is a historical document, capturing and recording moments that get more distant every day. It helps correct a record that has been skewed by the immediate, emotional response to the attacks. The longer view, and a more profound answer, is that 102 Minutes is an act of remembrance. Later generations, those who never watched the Towers fall, will meet Brian Clark and Ron Bucca and Kevin Cosgrove and others, and follow them through a short arc on the most trying day of their lives. And long after, beyond the time when even the survivors and witnesses have died, they will be remembered still, vivid in their humanity, fighting against the inevitable death that looms over us all.

  • Will Byrnes
    2019-05-29 01:36

    Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn - images from the National Book Foundation 102 Minutes covers the time from the initial impact at World Trade Center #1, the North Tower, to its collapse 102 minutes later. The focus is on survivors, how people managed. In telling heroic tales of survival and sacrifice, Dwyer and Flynn offer much relevant information about how the city construction code was subverted to allow the Trade Center’s design. There were, for example, an insufficient number of stairways, insufficient and untested insulation, and placement of stairs in a way that had been vociferously opposed by the fire department. 102 Minutes was a National Book Award finalist. For anyone interested in the events of 9/11, this is definitely worth checking out.

  • Mary
    2019-05-25 03:44

    OhMy GoodnessI would put a spoiler alert on this, except that everyone already knows how this story ends. I almost didn't make it through the book. I originally started reading it because of the technical explanations it had for all the things I never understood fully: the lack of communications, the faulty design of emergency exits in the towers, the layout of the buildings, the timing of the events, and so forth. However, the personal stories of the people involved are interspersed throughout the explanations. Information derived from 911 and family phone calls were pieced together to get a partial picture of what happened to individuals in the two towers before they went down. Warning: This is very, very disturbing. It tries to stay as practical as possible, and doesn't delve into over-dramatizations...however, you are reading along about what is happening with a certain person, and all of the sudden you are seeing the story from another person's point of view. And then you realize it is because the other person is now gone. A real person, someone who really experienced this event. And their narration ends, just like that.I spent a lot of time crying, and I really don't recommend this read to you if you don't have closure yet, or if you don't care to know the technical details of the terrorist attack. I'm not sure it was worth it for me, either.

  • Greta
    2019-06-10 05:26

    In gripping details, the New York Times reporters Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn have written down the attempts of the people in the towers to escape safely. I still remember seeing the live news coverage of the catastrophe. Of the many documentaries I saw afterwards, most were told from the outside looking in. Like many people, I saw more images of destruction and death than I could absorb emotionally. In this book, the reporters drew on countless interviews with rescuers and survivors, phone, e-mail, and emergency radio transcripts to tell the story of September 11 from the inside looking out.Reading this book gave me the feeling I was time-traveling into the towers. I feel like I've witnessed the struggle to survive of the people inside the towers. Ordinary men and women who saved themselves and others, as well as men and women who were unable to save themselves and others. After all these years, I feel like I finally got a grasp on this tragedy and the human experience of disaster and survival. Great storytelling in a context of inadequate building safety and tragic flaws in emergency adequacy and response. A remarkable accomplishment. It will stay with me forever. 10/10

  • Theo
    2019-06-23 01:52

    7 years after the event, I finally dug within myself to find the courage to read this book. I don't think I WANTED to know what happened inside The was just TOO close. I was right about that...I didn't want to know. And yet the tying together of this multitude of perspectives to provide a clear picture of the events of those most devastating 102 minutes in our nation's history was done so skillfully as to present an incredibly clear picture of the events. That being said, I can't say how it would appear to someone unfamiliar with the World Trade Center itself. I can't speak to the images created for someone with no idea of the physical structure and layout of the Twin Towers. Still, I doubt that the intensity and terror of the day would be lost on any reader. 7 years later and I hope for all the survivors that the days are a little more peaceful and the nights a little more restful. And may all the readers learn from this book the importance of taking time each day to express themselves to those they love, so nothing is left a question on their final day.

  • Tony
    2019-06-18 03:42

    A detailed, well written account of events inside the twin towers during the 102 minutes between the first airplane strike and the collapse of the second tower, with some astonishing stories of selflessness and bravery. A very good read, but not an easy one - which is exactly as it should be.

  • Amanda NEVER MANDY
    2019-06-11 02:34

    I happened upon this read browsing in the history section for another book. I didn’t have a particular one in mind, just wanted to mix up my reading a bit. I had two others in hand when I saw this one haphazardly shoved into a spot on the shelf and I knew instantly that I had found my next read. This book is exactly what you think it's about. It’s straight and to the point and it lays out all of the detailed information in a very organized format. I have nothing negative to say about this book and recommend it to anyone that wants to know more. Sorry for keeping it brief, but I don’t feel this is a review where my personal views and reactions to the topic are needed.

  • Jennifer Wardrip
    2019-06-05 01:23

    This was an absolutely amazing book. Not just because of the true-life accounts of many who survived (or, in many cases, didn't), but mostly because the authors pull no punches in telling the story of 9/11/01.This isn't a book that bashes the government, both local and national, but it does tell both the good and the bad, the positive and the negative. While I was uplifted and encouraged by so many examples of human kindness, I was devastated to read that so very many deaths could have possibly been avoided, if there had just been better communication between political-minded departments.Also, the fact that so many shortcuts were taken in building the World Trade Center, simply to create more rentable space, shows just how far people will go to make a buck. It saddens me that so many lives might have been saved if there were more staircases, if they had been spread out more, if they had had proper fireproofing.If you're interested at all in the story that is 9/11, then this is a must-read.

  • April Lyn
    2019-06-06 06:24

    I'm surprised so many people liked this book as much as they did. I didn't think it was very good, and I can't think of anyone I'd recommend it to. I wonder if people just felt obligated to like it due to the subject matter? Or maybe it just reads so much better than it sounds (on audio CD) but I can't imagine the difference is that drastic.Anyway, I have two big complaints. The first is that there are a ton of names dropped (which is fine), but they will talk about what a person did for five minutes and then move on to the next part, and then maybe (or not) pick that person's story back up 10 pages, 50 pages, 100 pages later. I can't follow it. You've named like, 300 people. I don't feel like I could share the specific experience of a single person who experienced Sept 11 as a result of having listened to the CD. Which is too bad. I was really hoping to hear more about who these people were who made sacrifices, choices, etc. I think it would have been a lot better if they'd told individuals stories start-to-finish and then moved on to the next. Also, as many other people have mentioned, the book is very political. It seems to have an agenda in assigning blame to the people/organizations who failed to act. And to a degree, I get that. I get that victims and families of victims probably feel better knowing that - hey, someone is being held accountable for failing to do his job or for making a drastic mistake or for knowingly going against an order that would have made him more effective. However, it leaves the reader with a very uneasy feeling like, "Did I accidentally buy into propaganda when I just wanted to hear the stories of these individuals?" Lastly, I say that my experience was surely affected by the crap CDs I got from the library, four out of five of which were scratched.

  • Robynne
    2019-06-11 01:47

    I'll tell your right off - this is a hard book to read. I've actually been working on it for a couple of weeks, but because of the subject matter was only able to handle so much at a time. The authors did an excellent job of pulling together a multitude of accounts and putting them into the timeline of what happened in the Twin Towers on 9/11. They weren't overly dramatic or graphic, but gave a true to life history of what happened there from the inside out, rather than the outside in. I gained a much greater understanding of what happened that day, especially the *people's stories*, not just the bare facts. I felt like I needed to read this book, even though it was difficult, because I owed it to those who went through it, if that makes sense. And this only covered a small portion of those who were inside, because we happen to have transcripts or emails or messages or accounts from those they talked to. The majority did not have a voice, but through reading all the other accounts, we can see what they went through as well. It is both heart-wrenching and inspiring. The only complaint I would make is that I think they put a little too much emphasis on the "fault?" of the builders, the rescuers, etc. and their shortcomings (i.e. building for rentable space rather than safety, very poor communication amongst police/fire etc.) Hindsight is 20/20, and we need to look objectively at what happened there to make sure we're more prepared for something like this in the future. Shortcomings and problems should be fixed, policies adjusted, communication worked out, etc. These are incredibly important points that need to be explored. However the reason this happened was because terrorists hijacked planes and wanted to kill Americans. That is where the true fault lies, and this account spent much more time comparatively on the builders, rescuers, etc. and their "blame" vs. the terrorists who actually caused this to happen. Maybe they just assume the terrorists actions are a given to the reader?I highly recommend this if the subject matter interests you - it is incredibly informative and gives a first-hand perspective, but be prepared for a tough read.

  • Ariel
    2019-06-01 01:24

    I read this in commemoration of the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11. This book was absolutely gut wrenching. It fact it was so emotionally draining that I had to put it down at times to take a breath and remind myself that I was not trapped in a smokey tower, almost two thousand feet off the ground with no means of escape. As I read it felt like I was traveling through the towers as I spent the last moments of people lives with them. What I take away from this book was no matter how evil the terrorists were and how destructive their act, it was overcome with pure goodness in thousands of ways and by thousands of people. Frank DiMartini and his group were directly responsible for saving 70 people before ultimately losing his life. He could have left the tower with his wife but he kept going up to the impact zone in order to save whoever he could. Abe Zelmanowitz wouldn't leave his paraplegic friend Ed Beyea even though he could have evacuated and saved his own life. Orio Palmer, a firefighter who arrived at the South Tower, fixed an elevator to take him to the 41st floor sky lobby and from there ran up 37 flights of stairs to go into the impact zone. Once there he gave comfort to survivors and directed them to escape routes. Countless first responders who stayed with people they were helping to evacuate even when the news finally came that the towers were in danger of falling. An act of evil on a terrible day overcome with heroism and love, that is what I take away from 9/11.

  • Lara
    2019-05-30 03:24

    It was a Tuesday like any other. I rose after my normal snooze delay, always thankful for a few more minutes of rest, and got ready for work. My daily routine was uneventful. This morning was different, though. Unlike other weekdays the television remained off, freeing me from the usual background chatter of morning news anchors as I dabbed on some mascara and brushed my teeth. I relished the empty house and the total silence. I got in the car, buckled myself in and made a point not to turn on the radio as I embarked on my 45 minute commute into the the office. A few minutes into the ride my cell phone rang, jolting me out of my quiet fog and into a day that would forever live in infamy.I can't tell you much else about that day except that it was Tuesday, September 11, 2001, and after that jarring phone call asking if I knew what was going on, the silence of the day was instantly shattered. I, along with our nation, was glued to the radio while in the car, in front of the computer at work and the television at home. It seemed that time stood still, or rather, needed to be rewound so that we could understand what was happening. We learned that American Airlines flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of New York's World Trade Center at 8:42 a.m. Surely it was a pilot error or some kind of horrible mistake. But when 16 minutes later, at 9:02 a.m., United Airlines flight 75 crashed into the South Tower (followed by American Airlines flight 77 into the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m. and the crash of United Airlines flight 93 near Shankesville, Pennsylvania at 10:03 a.m.) it was clear this was no accident. This was a calculated, premeditated terrorist attack with aims to do severe and everlasting damage.I am sure that for many of us the events that immediately unfolded became a blur. New York Times writers Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn bring clarity to the day by recounting every single moment of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center starting at 8:42 a.m. when the first jet crashed into Tower 1, until 10:29 a.m. when the second tower fell. 102 MINUTES: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE FIGHT TO SURVIVE INSIDE THE TWIN TOWERS is a significant body of work in capturing heroic and heartbreaking moments within and around the World Trade Center that fateful day.Through countless interviews with survivors, families, city, state and federal officials, and research and review of phone and e-mail records, Dwyer and Flynn tell the stories of the day from the voices of the people who lived it, and those who ultimately did not. At just under 4oo pages, readers are exposed to the harrowing events of the crashes and the aftermath of challenges facing the World Trade Center's occupants due to the communication breakdowns between city agencies and the structural issues with the towers themselves.I was fascinated reading their detailed account of the World Trade Center towers which were massive in their size and reach, yet ill-equipped to sustain the crash of a jumbo jet, despite building plans and agencies that said otherwise. They were built to maximize rentable space over safety, each with only three stairwells for 110 floors, four million square feet of office space and 20,000 occupants (versus the Empire State Building's nine stairwells for 102 floors, 2.25 million square feet and 15,000 occupants). I was baffled that infighting between NYPD, NYFD, NY Port Authority and other rescue agencies trumped necessary disaster recovery training and processes that clearly had a negative impact on the ability to share information. Rescue teams were unable to communicate which stairwells were clear and free for use, or that helicopters needed to be released to rescue tenants on the roof that couldn't descend past the floors consumed with wreckage, or even more crucial... when it was clear for folks to go back upstairs and back to work, to stay put and wait for help or when a total evacuation was necessary.It's evident there were a number of mistakes attempting to clear out the towers. 102 MINUTES seeks not to point fingers at the failures, but to shed light on opportunities to do differently knowing what we now know. What they uncover through their research is important, vital even. It should be required reading for all of us, but most especially those in positions to impart change in the way we approach disaster and recovery efforts during an attack or high-rise fire.And despite the harrowing events of September 11, I found myself utterly captivated by this book. My heart swelled reading the stories of humanity and generosity amongst strangers in a window of time--not even two hours!--that was fraught with terror and uncertainty. 2,749 people died in the attacks and 4,400 were injured. Dwyer and Flynn do not claim to have collected all the stories, but they have created an enduring record. As they share in their own words:No single voice can describe the scenes that unfolded at terrible velocities in so many places. Taken together, though, the words, witnesses, and records provide not only a broad and chilling view of the devastation, but also a singularly revealing window onto acts of grace at a brutal hour.102 MINUTES encourages us to carry on their legacy--even those we didn't have the pleasure to meet--and to never forget them.

  • Bruce
    2019-06-11 05:26

    I hate to trash such an enormous amount of reporting, but facts badly strung together do not improve the result by being more numerous.The reporters' downfall here was the ill-chosen decision to tell the story of the "102 Minutes" in chronological order. All the jumping around from person to person and tower to tower prevents the development of any personalization, any real emotional impact.There's some interesting background information on the building of the towers and the development of fire safety laws, and the authors endlessly review, repeat, reiterate the failures of the police and fire departments of NYC to institute any means of interdepartmental communication during a crisis. (Did I mention that the cops and firemen don't like each other? Don't talk to one another? Can't communicate? Did you hear that?)But other reporters have covered these topics as well, so even these tidbits don't rescue the book.I can't impune the writers' reporting abilities. They put a ton of work into this book, yet there's barely any background and only the thinnest family and occupational information about any of the dozens of the people who fade in and out of the reporting. The writers really needed an editor to tell them their chronological structural gimmick was going to drain all the energy out of their storytelling. With all the interviews they did, surely they must have found a few people who could have served as the backbone of their narrative. Selecting a few representative lives and fleshing them out and following them throughout the ordeal would have been a much preferable approach. The chronology could still have been preserved to some extent, both within the separate individuals' stories and by presenting the series of single-thread chronicles in an order that took readers through the crisis more or less in the order things happened. Yes, there would have been a great deal of chronological overlap, returning, with each shift to a new person, time and again to before the first plane and then ending, well, as needed for each individual.Perhaps the writers felt this had been done in countless newspaper and magazine and TV pieces about this or that hero or victim. Well, yes, and there's a reason for that. The confusion caused by leaping around among more than 100 different people is thus avoided.The only justification for the "102 Minutes" structure would have been a book about the towers', well, structure, and how the planes' impact and the subsequent fires led to their collapse, minute by minute, without trying to include the human stories as well. But that's not what this book attempts to do. It wants to tell human stories, but it approaches them like 52 pickup: Dozens of separate individuals' stories jumbled into confusion by the slavish adherence to the minute-by-minute chronology.I'm giving this book just one star because there have been so many better attempts to capture the horrors and heroism of that day, readers shouldn't waste their time with this one. It's frustrating: All those hundreds of hours of dogged, basic reporting frittered away by poor editing decisions.

  • Jackie
    2019-06-07 00:25

    very interesting and compelling; obviously a subject full of drama and suspense but also extremely well organized and written. my only regret is I read it on my kindle so there are illustrations - plans of the towers, for example - that don't show up well.

  • Heather
    2019-06-24 01:44

    This was a gripping read. Definitely not an easy one, but I thought the authors did a great job of not over dramatizing it. They just laid all the facts and information out there and the facts are devastating enough on their own. I appreciated how they approached this telling and was so pleased that they didn't prey on our emotions. Saying that though, I still cried. How could I not? The events of 9/11 still feel surreal and gut-wrenching. I'm sure they always will. I wanted to read this book to honor those who experienced this tragic event. Those who lost their lives and the heroes who stepped up to the plate that day will never be forgotten. It's always inspiring to see the goodness of humankind at work and for people to act so selflessly and reach out to help. It shouldn't take a tragedy for this to be the case. This should be the norm.

  • Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
    2019-06-11 02:49

    It was just another Tuesday morning. I was just rolling out of bed after sleeping in. I made my way to the tv in the living room before i got myself a bowl of cereal. The today show was just coming back from commercial break and I heard Katie Couric's voice saying that what was being displayed on the tv screen was a live shot of what appears to be a small aircraft had just hit one of the Twin Towers.I looked and stopped pouring my breakfast out. I sat on the sofa and was looking at smoke pouring out of the tower along with burts of fire. I watched for the next few minutes and then grabbed the phone next to me to call my then boyfriend who was a volunteer fire chief/paramedic in our county in New Jersey. He answered and I said he was missing the action in NYC right now as a plane had hit one of the twin towers. He said he was on his way home from a call right that very moment.I continued to watch the tv news and then I heard his truck pull up. At the same exact time I was watching, live on tv the SECOND plane to hit the other twin tower. I just froze. How could the pilot not see the smoke or the tower it's self. Was there something wrong with the flight routes or something. Surely something had to be wrong. Then my boyfriend came walking in and took one look at my face, glued to the tv and he walked over and said "Jesus Christ!" He sat down. We watched for a few more minutes and then he said what some of the reporters where saying on tv. "We're going to WAR over this!"That was just shy of ten years ago. I came across this book in the library and decided I would give it a look over, since it was coming up on the 10th anniversary. This book gave me chills, goosebumps and a sleepless night. Ever since watching the events of 9/11 live on the tv, I can't look at a picture of the Twin Towers with out shivering. This book is very powerful and moving. A must read to anyone wanting more information or just to see what it really was like.

  • Rick
    2019-06-12 04:40

    Extraordinary account of what went on inside the Twin Towers from the first impact on September 11th to the fall of the North Tower 102 minutes later. The authors, two veteran New York reporters, do nothing to embellish or dramatize their account. The prose is spartan, free of useless or striving adjectives or adverbs, and free of any kind of assist the reader with authorial insights into personal courage, dramatic ironies, or embellishments of the action. The authors trust the reader and trust the self-evident power of the story to just capture it in a straightforward way. Their only editorializing comes in the book’s conclusion, stressing the fact that the tragedy included key failures to apply lessons learned from previous disasters, particularly the failure of the two key responders, New York’s police and fire departments to solve some of their communication problems, both from a command and control situation and from an updated technology to ensure successful communication of key information between those outside and those inside the towers. The authors make the point that perhaps as many as 200 firefighters lost their lives simply because they were unaware that a command had been issued to evacuate the towers because collapse was imminent and that the defensive response of Guiliani and others that are trying to suppress this fact because, in their view, it somehow diminishes the courage and efforts of the rescue workers, is wrong-headed and false. We need to learn from this to take better precautions to ensure maximum safety in the future and nothing diminishes the intent of the rescuers. The book also highlights the heroism of many civilian and Trade Towers employees, particularly Frank DeMartini and Palbo Ortiz, who were responsible for saving scores of otherwise trapped civilians and who continued to climb into the fire to help others. It’s an amazing story start to finish, inspiring and insightful, and a direct challenge to the complacency of officials who think knowing the details is somehow a threat to our view of the heroism of the first responders. It is a ridiculous, perhaps self-serving excuse for official ignorance.

  • Christopher
    2019-06-15 07:34

    The 102 minutes of the title refers to the moment the first plane hit the towers until the second tower fell.It is well researched and tells the harrowing tales of both survivors and those that died. A few stories that stand out:-A 30something year old guy who was doing temp work took one of the express elevators down prior to the attacks and was jumping up and down in the elevator when the first plane hit. The elevator dropped but the safety catch kept him from plummeting to his death. However, he didn't know that a plane had hit the building. He thought he had broken the elevator himself. He eventually caught on by hearing people trapped in the next elevator. There was a power surge that finally opened the elevator and he was the last one alive out of the building.-Another group stuck in an express elevator were able to pry open the doors only to be met by a wall. Using the blade of one of the window washers squeegies, they began carving into the dry wall only to drop in inbetween the elevator and the wall. They eventually carved through a foot thick wall and found themselves in a men's bathroom.-Many accounts of people walking down the stairwell to safety talked of passing an unrented floor where many firefighters who had walked up the many flights with very heavy equipment lay exhausted unable to go any further.It is a harrowing book but it is great to read the accounts of so many stories that weren't packaged for the 24-hour-news channels. It brings the humanity back to the stories of many of the people in the buildings that day.

  • Mike
    2019-06-12 03:32

    I read this book to rekindle my flagging support for our war in Afghanistan (a result of reading War, which tells the story of so many brave men in an impossible area). What better way to refuel my rage than to read about the 102 minutes of terror that emanated from the terrorist refuge in Kandahar. But I came away with a completely different, unexpected result. I come away inspired and humbled by the stories of that day in the towers told in this riveting account. The self-sacrifice and courage of everyday people is truly amazing, a great story about men and women who did what they could to help their friends, co-workers and strangers.At the start of this book, you are reminded what a normal day it was at first, normal people going to their office or to the restaurant to have breakfast or sitting back in the plane, ready for a long flight. Some of the book deals with the sheer luck and serendipity that determined whether someone got out or not. Some of the book deals with the history of construction and compromises, changes that made the towers less safe. Another theme is the lack of cooperation and, even unhealthy disdain, that existed between the police and the firemen. Many lives could have been saved had there been more cooperation, exercises and coordination between the two services. This book is, in military parlance, an unflinching After-Action Report (AAR) of that day. It is a valuable historical record of a pivot point in history, yet brings it down to a personal level. There is plenty of blame to go around and the authors affix it without a political slant (amazing professionalism from 2 NYT reporters).I was somewhat hesitant to read this because I thought it would be too intense. We all know many of the stories of that day and a good few are covered here. While the book is intense, it is compelling reading without being too emotional. The stories of $10.00/hour security guards and hotel employees bravely standing their posts or helping with the evacuation are so heartwarming; you can’t help but be proud. We should not gloss over or try to soften the memories of that day; we should celebrate the courage and bravery, not only of the first responders that walked into the conflagration but also of the many individuals who had little or no responsibility to help but did (and many lost their lives doing so).

  • Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
    2019-06-18 03:31

    Very early on in this book the authors make a statement that comes partly as a shock, partly as a revelation:"... simply to declare that the hijackers alone killed all those people gives them far more credit as tacticians than they are due. The buildings themselves became weapons... so, too, did a sclerotic emergency response culture in New York that resisted reform..." At least 1,500 people in the trade centre - and possibly many more - survived the initial crashes but died because they were unable to escape from their floors or elevators whilst the buildings stood. Those people were not killed by the planes alone any more than passengers on the "Titanic" were killed by the iceberg. With 102 minutes in the north tower, and 57 minutes in the south, thousands of people had time to evacuate, and did. Those who did not escape were trapped by circumstances that had been the subject of debates that began before the first shovelful of earth was turned..." The men who made decisions governed by financial profit rather than safety when the World Trade buildings were designed, emerge as the real villains of the drama. They reduced the number of escape routes so that they had more space to rent out. They used untried technologies that were never tested for their effectiveness in fire and heat. The terrorists may have been the final catalyst for the deaths on 9/11 but it was these money-grubbing faceless bureaucrats who were the real killers. We see how chances to improve safety were squandered after the 1993 bombing, how faults in communications between the Fire brigade and the Police were never overcome... We also discover how the role of civilians in the saving of lives was played down in order to cover up the squandering of firemen's lives. This is a powerful book that unfolds the drama, the frustration, the tragedy and the sacrifice with the clinical precision of a scalpel. We watch the events unfold with the same horror we first saw them... but this time there are names attached to those who struggled for survival in the twin towers and we are in there with them, breathing in the fumes and feeling the heat... and fear. Individuals make decisions that lead to life or death, others are saved by coincidence and accident. If this was fiction would we believe it?

  • Alyssa Potasznik
    2019-06-08 01:25

    Stunning book. Visceral, well-researched, heartbreaking, doesn't pull any punches- whether with regard to the construction of the WTC and the Port Authority's deliberate ignoring of safety standards that would have saved victims, to the interviews with survivors, to the frank discussion of American foreign policy following the attack, to the explanation of the deadly enmity between the NYPD and FDNY- enmity that eventually led to more casualties, while still treating all involved with the utmost respect, this book is a must read for any student of history, or simply anyone who has an interest in the events of 9/11.

  • Tânia
    2019-06-11 06:41

    A questão é inevitável: onde estavam no dia 11 de Setembro de 2001?Acho que toda a gente, ou quase toda a gente, se lembra de onde, quando, e o quê desse dia, tal foi o impacto do acontecimento. No meu caso, encontrava-me em casa da minha melhor amiga, tínhamos ido ao supermercado comprar porcarias e quando regressamos a mãe dela estava sentada no sofá diante da televisão dominada pela imagem das torres gémeas. Este é um daqueles temas que já fizeram correr muita tinta, mas que, faz hoje precisamente 15 anos, ainda suscita a minha curiosidade. Tenho de dizer que não é bem aquilo que eu estava à espera, e acho que funciona melhor em formato documentário ou filme do que em livro. Tem muito de relato jornalístico, e pouco de narrativa comovente. A estrutura não é a ideal, os autores saltam entre pessoas e lugares, numa amálgama tal que às tantas perde-se o fio à meada. Dá uma perspectiva assustadora e claustrofóbica do labirinto que era o interior das torres, e deixa-nos incrédulos como, ainda assim, tantas pessoas conseguiram sair de lá a tempo. Há a retirar alguns factos curiosos: a acrofobia ou medo das alturas do arquitecto das torres a inspirar as janelas estreitas; aparentemente a polícia e os bombeiros não se entendem; um bombeiro foi morto quando uma das pessoas que saltou das torres lhe caiu em cima; outro bombeiro levava sempre consigo uma lata de atum como uma espécie de amuleto da sorte. Mas não há muito mais que já não se saiba, a não ser que queiram ir mais dentro e saber todos os pormenores até ao mais ínfimo detalhe, tal como o modelo e marca dos rádios das equipas de socorro, o material usado na construção das torres, uma explicação exaustiva e pouco interessante das inúmeras empresas a operar dentro do WTC, leis e regulamentos, etc. Teria sido um bom livro se os autores se tivessem focado mais na história das pessoas e menos em reiterar todas as falhas e atribuir culpas. Recomendaria verem antes o documentário 11 de Setembro: As Torres Gémeas (2006).

  • Christie
    2019-06-18 07:42

    A gripping and heart wrenching account as told by those who managed to survive and escape the towers within the 102 minutes from the first impact by American Airlines Flight 11 to the collapse of the second tower. Within the narration are also transcripts of 911 calls and voicemails left to loved ones when some of the victims realized they would not survive. The stories of those who stopped and helped others who were injured truly demonstrated that, even during a tragedy, many heroes rise to the occasion. Just as in my parent's generation when speaking of December 7, 1941, details are remembered as to exactly where they were and what they were doing when they learned of the attack, I can still vividly recall exactly where I was, what I was doing and what I was thinking when I learned of the impact of the first plane and while watching this nightmare unfold on national TV. There was a sense of panic by so many people in my home town as to where the next attack might happen but those fears cannot hold a candle to the fears that those who were trapped in those towers must have had. Yet, in the midst of such chaos, tale after tale was shared of people who kept their wits about them and devised clever solutions to obstacles encountered during escape as well as helping to keep others calm and orderly. It is a testament to the author that there have been reviews of this book from those who survived crediting the author with fair and accurate reporting of events, and avoiding the pitfall of sensationalism.

  • Negin
    2019-06-05 07:35

    This was the first book that I read on 9/11. Although it was definitely a compelling read, I soon got bogged down with too many details, especially about the structure of the towers and the building codes. The authors included lots of information all that. They were extremely thorough, but it soon became rather repetitive. I loved reading about all the individuals. The self-sacrifice and courage of so many were incredible, but I found it difficult to keep track of all the names. I think that I would have appreciated this more if it was written in a more linear way. All the going back and forth with the different people, never mind the building safety code repetition, made it difficult to read. Overall, it was very good, but also quite depressing, which I expected it to be. I’m happy that I read it and I learned a lot. Above all, reading it has encouraged me to appreciate and thank God for every day that we have and for all the wonderful blessings that we may sometimes take for granted.

  • Caroline
    2019-05-24 23:48

    I got about 50 pages into this book and then had to do some really hard thinking about what I was getting out of it. A LOT of crying, for sure. But I wasn't sure what else. Would I actually learn something new and useful, or put myself through an emotional ringer and just be the same person I was before? I found myself thinking about Dave Cullen's book on the Columbine shootings. In so many ways that book made me a better citizen, a more educated citizen, and hopeful (Frank DeAngelis should be nominated for sainthood). I wasn't optimistic that 102 Minutes would give me anything new, just a lot of tears and nothing to do with them.I'm cautious about participating in misery/tragedy porn, which is so easy these days. The September 11 attacks were thoroughly and, relatively speaking, accurately reported. This isn't to say that someone else wouldn't get something out of this book, but my knowledge and memories of 9/11 are still very vivid and I haven't lost them.

  • Emily
    2019-05-27 00:41

    this is the book I'm reading for English non-fiction. It's really interesting and I love it so far. It's a bit depressing though, but if you are interested in this type of stuff, I'd read it. It really tells you more about 9-11 than anyother news report!!

  • Michael Flanagan
    2019-06-19 01:38

    The book as others have mentioned was hard to read. A mixture of pure horror and truly amazing personal sacrifices mixed with amazing tales of survival. I read this book in two sittings it was such a compelling read even though the end is known.

  • Sarah -
    2019-05-29 01:24

    I don't know if I can actually write a review of this one, but I will try. Full review to come, hopefully, eventually.++++++++++ 5 StarsI mean, really. How do you write a review about a book like this? I am not sure, but I will try. Though, I am fairly confident I will meet the same challenges here that I did when I reviewed Flight 93 by Tom McMillan, and I probably won't do this book justice. But I will try.First the cover. I have never once been to NYC in my entire life. It is on my bucket list, it is a dream of mine to go. My first glimpses of New York came in the mid-90s when I started watching FRIENDS. Yes, I was 11, don't judge. I loved the skyline of the city regularly shown in the episodes and something about the towers spoke to me. So, here on the cover there they are, outlined, still standing like guardians. I can't look at a photo of the Manhattan skyline now and not place the towers back there myself in my mind. Seeing the cover, in all its simplicity, is comforting and heartbreaking. I just wish there was less text on the cover. In particular, I could do without the plug at the top, comparing it to Lord's 'A Night to Remember'. Still, it is beautiful. The towers are beautiful. That is how I always want to remember them (See my blog for the photo).While we are sort of on the subject of Walter Lord and his book (that coincidentally, I recently reviewed) 'A Night to Remember', I do have one small complaint. Not only did that little blurb I mentioned above do so, but there are a couple points in the book where the sinking of the Titanic and the terrorist attacks of 9-11 are compared. This bothered me a lot. I always feel like comparing tragedies in this way somehow diminishes their importance. I don't think it is necessary or helpful. Luckily, it only occurs a couple times and it is the only real complaint I have. I even feel a little guilty for having a complaint at all.Aside from the, pardon my language, A-HOLES, who took it upon themselves to crash two airplanes into the Twin Towers, it seems that the two biggest factors that contributed to the senseless deaths of so many innocent people were poor building planning before, and lack of any communication during.I hope by this point the police and fire departments have gotten over their pathetic pissing contests and are able to communicate. It was so incredibly childish to read time and again of squabbles between the two forces and how it impacted their work on September 11th. There were special radios purchased specifically for the use of the two departments to communicate, yet they could not agree on who would be in charge of the frequency so the radios went unused. The fire commanders had to contact their dispatchers who then contacted the police. Talk about a major time-waster. I honestly could not believe what I was reading and throughout it became painfully obvious that so many deaths would be directly because of this lack of communication.On the same theme, it baffled me how many people in the south tower began evacuating when the north tower was struck, yet were told everything was okay and they could go back upstairs and resume their days. I understand that when the first plane hit, everyone thought it was an accident. But there is no way I could have in good conscience told people to go back upstairs, nor is that a directive I could have followed. I also realize that no one expected the towers to come down, but remaining inside seemed like such a huge risk to take. For example, when Port Authority employee Patrick Hoey called the PA police desk from his office in the north tower, he was told to stay put and the police would come to him. I don't understand why he was told this. Several people on his floor, 64, left immediately. Flight 11 had crashed into the building nearly 30 floors above them. Mr. Hoey, like so many others that day, should have survived. I don't understand why so many people were told to stay put. I also don't understand why the direction was obeyed. Perhaps many were there for the bombing in 1993 and were unfazed? I am not sure and it is so frustrating to think how many more lived might have been saved. At what point too does the idea of self-preservation kick in, especially when seeing/hearing so many others evacuating from the higher floors?One thing that may be of comfort to family members left behind that day are the countless stories of heroism. It was so refreshing to see that, despite the lack of communication, the miscommunication, the incorrect information, and so on, there were ordinary people who performed extraordinary feats in the face of death. People like Frank De Martini and Pablo Ortiz who went floor by floor, freeing people who were trapped by jammed doors, directing them to safety. Then there are those who were not named, people like Welles Crowther who, time and again, returned to the burning Sky Lobby to lead others to safety - though like De Martini and Ortiz, would not make it home. I first learned of Crowther specifically when ESPN aired the short, "Man in the Red Bandana", which you can watch on my blog if you have not seen it yet. In the book, survivors detail how a man "appeared out of no where", at one point carrying a woman on his back, leading others, performing first aid, rescuing people. Time and again Crowther returned to the 78th floor where Flight 175 had struck, killing so many on impact. Yet Crowther directed dazed survivors and was able to make sure that those he could help reached safety. Yet he was never named in the book, and this bothered me because of the postscript that was included for the 10th anniversary edition. I wouldn't expect them to change the original text, but mentioning the identity of Crowther in the postscript might have been appropriate. This detail bothered me so much in fact, that I emailed the author, Jim Dwyer, at the New York Times to ask about it. He responded quite promptly, saying that at the time the book was first printed, Crowther had not yet been identified as the man in the red bandana, and he agreed that the story is truly an inspiring one. So, I felt a little better, but would still like to see him acknowledged somewhere in a subsequent edition. The courage that so many showed that day is beyond anything I could hope for in myself. I'd like to believe I would think of others, do what I could to rescue people, but we never really know how we will respond until we are in the moment and truthfully, I hope that day never comes for me. Frank De Martini, Pablo Ortiz, Welles Crowther. Remember these names. They are heroes.Perhaps one of the hardest stories for me to read was that of Ed Beyea. He was confined to a wheelchair, a quadriplegic, and ultimately did not survive. Time and again firefighters and rescuers passed by him as he and his friend, Abe Zelmanowitz waited patiently for help. Though Abe was able, he never left his friend's side and the two men, presumably along with Captain Burke, perished when the north tower came down.Some have complained about the jumping viewpoints and that the story is not linear, but I could not disagree more. It is written in a way that gives you a feeling for the day, the chaos and terror going on inside the tower for those agonizing 102 minutes. I found myself reading of someone, then flipping quickly to the back where the authors listed the names of those who ultimately did not survive, hoping to not see their names. Of course, 131 times, I was disappointed. The authors cover so many stories of both victims and survivors in the book, and of all of those stories told, 131 people did not survive and are memorialized; employees are listed with which tower they worked in, then those at the Marriott, firefighters, police officers (both NYPD and PAPD), then NYC Emergency Medical Services. There are so many more stories I want to tell, but it is best if you read it for yourself, hear the stories from the survivors and the loved ones left behind.Though this national tragedy occurred 15 years ago this coming September, the day is very vivid in my mind. The world I grew up in is gone and it makes me sad for future generations, for my own daughter, that this is the world she has to navigate now. It has only been recently that I have been able to start reading about September 11th, and if you are like me and find it difficult still, then start with this one. If you read nothing else about that day, this will give you a much better understanding of how and why so many did not make it home - not only because of the planes, but so many other factors working against the employees housed in the towers. Highly recommended.

  • John Cornelius
    2019-06-10 01:30

    One can remember sitting in a high school classroom on a Tuesday morning in September. It would have been an ordinary day if it hadn't been for a call over the intercom of the principal. He said it was History in the making, or something like that. What we saw was smoke coming from the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York. Some thought it was a bomb. Then someone said it was a plane. Then we saw a second plane crash into the South Tower. Throughout the entire school day, we watched the towers collapse, we saw images of the Pentagon with smoke coming from one side, and we saw the Pennsylvania area where the fourth plane crashed. For a month, we watched as rescue workers of all kinds search the rubble for more survivors, another building fall, and make sense of all the events that led to that morning's events.After reading this book, I was given a more descriptive account of that morning's events through stories from the survivors themselves, families of those who perished, and what radio communications went through on that morning. One Hundred and Two Minutes was the time frame from the impact of Flight 11 into the North Tower at 8:46 am to 10:28 am, the moment the North Tower fell minutes after the South Tower collapsed. What one saw outside the buildings on television, this book provided a visual account of what happened inside the Twin Towers. I would encourage everyone to read this book.

  • Ashley W
    2019-06-16 06:45

    I was ten years old and in 5th grade on that day. Nothing was told to us during the school day, though I do remember that my teacher being a bit more subdued than usual. When I got home from school that day, I saw that my mom was home, which was unusual. She worked at a bank and usually didn't get off of work for another hour or so. I asked why she was home and she told me that all federal business got out early. Then, I remember her asking me if I knew where the World Trade Center was. I didn't. I guessed Canada. (I didn't know what she was talking about because I'd only ever heard of the World Trade Center as the Twin Towers.) My mom said no...New York. That's when I turned to the TV and saw that the news was on. That wasn't unusual, because we always watched the news in my house. However, what was unusual was the events playing on the screen. Playing was the footage that would forever haunt myself, the nation, and the world. First, I was worried about my dad. The day was his birthday and he expressed earlier that day that he was going to New York to spend it with family. (He didn't.) Being that young during such a terrible tragedy, I didn't understand exactly what had happened or why. I had just seen the Twin Towers a few weeks earlier in either July or August. I didn't understand how they could just be gone like that. I knew bad men, terrorists, crashed planes filled with innocent people into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania, but that was it. I didn't understand the seriousness of what happened. A highly sensitive child, it kept me awake at night and I remember being terrified it would happen again. The fear I experienced then developed into a thirteen-year-old fear of planes, fire, skyscrapers, heights, and the dark (after hearing about so many people being trapped in the smoky blackness before dying in the most terrifying way imaginable). Since then, I've developed almost a need to understand the events of September 11, 2001. Every year, I watch the many documentaries that pop up on the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and the History Channel, and also the memorial name-reading ceremonies. I've even tried to find books on the subject. Most books that I found at my local library are about the disgusting, evil men and the events that led them to their heinous activities or the brave firefighters and policemen who became the first responders and also perished that day. However, I wanted to find a book that would give me stories about the everyday people. Thus, I found 102 Minutes. 102 Minutes is so named because that's how long it took for the horrible events of that day to unfold. It begins at 8:46 when American Airlines Flight 11 with 87 souls on board crashed into the North Tower. Within this book, you get a lot of snippets about people's ordinary day-to-day lives before the plane struck. For example, a man annoyed with his wife for complaining about the newspaper delivery boy. A young woman calling her husband about taking a second pregnancy test. Another young woman planning a trip to New York for her parents. All of these people led ordinary lives with no way of knowing their lives would change forever. It was especially heartbreaking to read about the normal events in the lives of those who worked above the impact point of the North Tower, trapped with no way of escape before all three stairwells were completely decimated. They could do nothing but wait for rescue that would never come. Dwyer and Flynn report that many believed the plane crash to be an accident and people actually made jokes about how drunk the pilot must have been to crash into the World Trade Center until 9:02...the moment United Airlines Flight 175 with 60 innocent souls on board struck the South Tower. People knew then it was not simply an accident, but an attack.I definitely know a lot of the stories told in this book will stay with me for the rest of my life. There's the story of how Abraham Zelmanowitz who refused to leave his friend, quadriplegic Ed Beyea, though it meant death for them both. How Orio Palmer, a firefighter, became the only known rescuer to make it to the point of impact on the 78th floor in the South Tower only moments before its collapse. How businessmen Frank De Martini and Pablo Ortiz among others sacrificed their lives by saving seventy other people from the upper floors of the North Tower. How Brian Clark saved the life of Stanley Praimnath, the man who actually saw Flight 175 coming straight for his building. And so many more...The only thing I didn't like about the book is that it also focuses a lot on the building of the towers and how they were not really made with the safety of the workers in mind. For example, the way they reduced the staircases from six to only three in each tower and how the fireproofing could not stand more than two hours of fire. The writers also tread on dangerous ground when they expose the fact that the policemen and firemen of New York have an intense rivalry that meant they could not work very well together. While this part of the book was eye-opening, it seemed to point fingers at those whose only crime was making a fast buck instead of those who truly did the damage: the terrorists. September 11 remains a day of horror to many people.The events of that day, I know, must replay over and over again in the minds of those who witnessed the events and those who have lost loved ones. Other than that, this book is an interesting yet heart-wrenching look at the September 11 attacks and tells so many personal stories that unfortunately ended in tragedy. I recommend it to those who, like me, still struggle to get closure on that terrible morning.*R.I.P to the 2,977 souls who perished on that terrible day. God bless*