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At the Library: Library offers a range of retrospective writing

September 17, 2011
Ann Bradley - Captiva Memorial Library , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

In the wake of the 10-year anniversary date of 9/11 readers may be interested in these retrospective titles:

Reluctant Hero: A 9/11 Survivor Speaks Out About That Unthinkable Day, What He's Learned, How He's Struggled, and What No One Should Ever Forget

By Michael Benfante

"On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, Michael Benfante went to work, just like he had day after day, at his office on eighty-first floor in the World Trade Center North Tower. Moments after the first plane struck, just twelve floors above him, Benfante organized his terrified employees, getting them out the office and moving down the stairwells. On his way down, he and another co-worker encountered a woman in a wheelchair on the sixty-eighth floor. Benfante, the woman and Benfante's co-worker then embarked on a ninety-six-minute odyssey of escape-the two men carrying the woman down sixty-eight flights of stairs out of the North Tower and into an ambulance that rushed her to safety just minutes before the tower imploded. A CBS video camera caught Benfante just as he got out the building, and almost immediately, the national media came calling. Benfante sat on the couch with Oprah Winfrey, where she hailed him as a hero. Almost one year to the day after 9/11, Benfante got married and the woman in the wheelchair sat in the front row. That's the storybook ending. But in the aftermath of 9/11, Benfante began a journey fraught with wrenching personal challenges of critical emotional and psychological depth in Reluctant Hero. Benfante shares the trappings of his public heroism, the loneliness of his private anguish, and the hope he finds for himself and for us. Because all of us-whether we were in the towers, in New York City, or someplace else-we are all 9/11 survivors." *

In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir by Dick Cheney

"In this eagerly anticipated memoir, former Vice President Dick Cheney delivers an unyielding portrait of American politics over nearly forty years and shares personal reflections on his role as one of the most steadfast and influential statesmen in the history of our country. The public perception of Dick Cheney has long been something of a contradiction. He has been viewed as one of the most powerful vice presidents-secretive, even mysterious, and at the same time opinionated and unflinchingly outspoken. He has been both praised and attacked by his peers, the press, and the public. Through it all, courting only the ideals that define him, he has remained true to himself, his principles, his family, and his country. Now in an enlightening and provocative memoir, a stately page-turner with flashes of surprising humor and remarkable candor, Dick Cheney takes readers through his experiences as family man, policymaker, businessman, and politician during years that shaped our collective history. Born into a family of New Deal Democrats in Lincoln, Nebraska, Cheney was the son of a father at war and a high-spirited and resilient mother. He came of age in Casper, Wyoming, playing baseball and football and, as senior class president, courting homecoming queen Lynne Vincent, whom he later married. This all-American story took an abrupt turn when he flunked out of Yale University, signed on to build power line in the West, and started living as hard as he worked. Cheney tells the story of how he got himself back on track and began an extraordinary ascent to the heights of American public life, where he would remain for nearly four decades Eyewitness to history at the highest levels, Cheney brings to life scenes from past and present. He describes driving through the White House gates on August 9, 1974, just hours after Richard Nixon resigned, to begin work on the Ford transition; and he portrays a time of national crisis a quarter century later when, on September 11, 2001, he was in the White House bunker and conveyed orders to shoot down a hijacked airliner if it would not divert. With its unique perspective on a remarkable span of American history, In My Time will enlighten. As an intimate and personal chronicle, it will surprise, move, and inspire. Dick Cheney's is an enduring political vision to be reckoned with and admired for its honesty, its wisdom, and its resonance. In My Time is truly the last word about an incredible political era, by a man who lived it and helped define it-with courage and without compromise." *

A History of the World Since 9/11: Disaster, Deception, and Destruction in the War on Terror

By Dominic Streatfeild

"To understand why, you'll need to know how an Australian metals trader named Garry-with help from the CIA-inadvertently triggered the invasion of Iraq coalition troops were killed by bombs made with explosives that, according to the White House, never existed the United States Air Force bombed a wedding in Afghanistan by mistake the U.S. gave material support to the president of Uzbekistan, who, as it happens, boils people alive These are not merely random disasters from an otherwise effective war. A History of the World Since 9/11shows us just why, a decade after the horrifying attacks on New York and Washington, we are no closer to winning the war on terror than we were on September 10, 2001. We failed to find Osama bin Laden or quell extremism. We sparked civil wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Around the world, innocents were incarcerated, tortured, and murdered-all in the name of justice. Acclaimed author and journalist Dominic Streatfeild traveled across the world for years in pursuit of answers for this stunning collapse of international law. The results of his search form the most fully realized study of the war on terror yet written. Piercing reportage blends with sobering human drama, woven into eight narratives of how our world went wrong after 9/11." *

A Decade of Hope: Stories of Grief and Endurance from 9/11 Families and Friends

By Dennis Smith

"On the tenth anniversary of 9/11, a portrait of tragedy, survival, and healing from the author of The New York Times bestseller Report from Ground Zero. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, an occasion that is sure to be observed around the world. But among the memorials, political speeches, and news editorials, the most pressing consideration- and often the most overlooked-is the lives and well-being of the 9/11 first responders, their families, and the victims' families over the past decade. Dennis Smith, a former firefighter and the author of the bestselling Report from Ground Zero, addresses this important topic in a series of interviews with the heroes and families of those most affected by the tragedy either through feats of bravery in the rescue efforts or heroic bearing up in the face of unimaginable loss. Smith provides an intimate look at a terrible moment in history and its challenging and difficult aftermath, allowing these survivors to share their stories of loss, endurance, and resilience in their own words. A Decade of Hope is an honest and vitally important look at a decade in the lives of those for whom a national tragedy was a devastatingly personal ordeal." *

* book jacket/publisher description

 
 

 

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