My Book Recommendation

Freedom Tower

An eyewitness report from ground zero, generously illustrated with color photographs.

In 2005, journalist Raab was assigned to cover the rebuilding of the World Trade Center for Esquire. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11, he has gathered the essays from his 10-part series, published yearly, complemented by dozens of gritty, vibrant photos by Dublin-born Woolhead, the official site photographer. Raab takes an irreverent, often cynical view of the political grandstanding, rivalries, and arrogance that emerged during the planning and construction. George Pataki, New York’s governor when the towers fell, saw rebuilding as a personal achievement that he hoped would take him to the White House. Irascible real estate mogul Larry Silverstein, the first chief developer, “nursed every nickel, but he also knew the historical heft, and the spiritual demands, of the Freedom Tower.” David Childs, chief architect, was repeatedly frustrated by the Port Authority, owner of the site. “The seismic social forces that first raised up the Twin Towers—politics, power, and money—have poured into the vacuum created by their collapse,” Raab observed. Building the towers depended on workers—engineers, blasters, welders, steel workers—whom Raab portrays with warmth and respect. While one engineer worried over the geophysical forces that would impact the structure, Raab notes many other forces—“money, memory, money, vanity, money, ingenuity, money, New York City’s infinite resolve and resilience, and money”—that challenged the project’s completion. Because the pieces appeared over 10 years, repetition (Silverstein’s undaunted determination, the Port Authority’s obfuscation) is inevitable. Nevertheless, the book effectively conveys the emotional power of the fraught $4 billion project. Now, 20 years later, writes Raab, “facing a collective grief, suffering, and outrage on a scale beyond anything we’ve known in our lives, the Freedom Tower’s spire reminds me that nothing—no act of terrorism, no natural disaster, no pandemic: nothing—is stronger than the human spirit of community.” Colum McCann provides the foreword.

A revealing and visually appealing history of an architectural triumph.

Pub Date: today

ISBN: 978-1-982176-14-3

  • Great Circle: A novel Great Circle: A novel This is a story a woman’s unenthusiastic life as she strives to break free. Marian Graves is also from a family which has lost their fame. Instead of bitterness, Marian continues to dream for the future and works hard for her stars. Although her life is not easy, she refuses to let the circumstances of her past dictate the fate of her future. This is an American story about independence, shedding your past,Read More
  • Klara and the Sun: A novel The book Klara and the Sun is an emotional story about loss and love. A peculiar girl, Klara who always insists that someone else is always inside of her body finally comes face to face with her real self. It is a masterpiece is that still contemplative and thoughtful as you are being drawn in by the essence of that “someone else.”Read More
  • The Four Winds: A Novel The Four Winds: A Novel by Kristen Hannah is a charming yet gritty story of women who remember America's iconic dust storms and have been trying to survive since the nation asks them to. This book is a touching story of survival, resilience, and hope.Read More

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2021

You May Also Like