Selected as one of the best books of 2002 by The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Sun-Times
Within days after September 11, 2001, William Langewiesche had secured unique, unrestricted, round-the-clock access to the World Trade Center site. American Ground is a tour of this intense, ephemeral world and those who improvised the recovery effort day by day, and in the process reinvented themselves, discovering unknown strengths and weaknesses. In all of its aspects--emotionalism, impulsiveness, opportunism, territoriality, resourcefulness, and fundamental, cacophonous democracy--Langewiesche reveals the unbuilding to be uniquely American and oddly inspiring, a portrait of resilience and ingenuity in the face of disaster.
About the Author
William Langewiesche is the author of three previous books, Cutting for Sign, Sahara Unveiled, and Inside the Sky. He is a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, where this book originated as a three-part series.
Praise for American Ground…
"The one book to read, if you're only reading one."
--Detroit Free Press
"Slim but powerful . . . truth, unclouded by sentiment."
--The New York Times Book Review
"One of the most compelling, dramatic, and uplifting pieces of writing you are likely ever to read."
--St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Extraordinary . . . An amazing piece of journalism, full of colorful characters and astonishing scenes."
--Peter Carlson, The Washington Post
"Says more about our essential character than a thousand maudlin tributes."
--Boris Kachka, New York