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

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9780060815653: 102 Minutes CD: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers

The dramatic and moving account of the struggle for life inside the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, when every minute counted.

At 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.

New York Times reporters Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn rely on hundreds of interviews; thousands of pages of oral histories; and 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 12,000 who escaped and the 2,749 who perished -- who made 102 minutes count as never before.

Read by Ron McLarty

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Review:

In 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers, New York Times writers Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn vividly recreate the 102-minute span between the moment Flight 11 hit the first Twin Tower on the morning of September 11, 2001, and the moment the second tower collapsed, all from the perspective of those inside the buildings--the 12,000 who escaped, and the 2,749 who did not. It's becoming easier, years later, to forget the profound, visceral responses the Trade Center attacks evoked in the days and weeks following September 11. Using hundreds of interviews, countless transcripts of radio and phone communications, and exhaustive research, Dwyer and Flynn bring that flood of responses back--from heartbreak to bewilderment to fury. The randomness of death and survival is heartbreaking. One man, in the second tower, survived because he bolted from his desk the moment he heard the first plane hit; another, who stayed at his desk on the 97th floor, called his wife in his final moments to tell her to cancel a surprise trip he had planned. In many cases, the deaths of those who survived the initial attacks but were killed by the collapse of the towers were tragically avoidable. Building code exemptions, communication breakdowns between firefighters and police, and policies put in place by building management to keep everyone inside the towers in emergencies led, the authors argue, to the deaths of hundreds who might otherwise have survived. September 11 is by now both familiar and nearly mythological. Dwyer and Flynn's accomplishment is recounting that day's events in a style that is stirring, thorough, and refreshingly understated. --Erica C. Barnett

About the Author:

Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn, native New Yorkers, veteran newspaper reporters, and winners of many awards together and separately, now work at The New York Times. Dwyer is the coauthor or author of three other books. Flynn, a special projects editor at the Times, was the newspaper's police bureau chief on September 11. He previously worked as a reporter for the New York Daily News, New York Newsday, and the Stamford Advocate.



Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn, native New Yorkers, veteran newspaper reporters, and winners of many awards together and separately, now work at The New York Times. Dwyer is the coauthor or author of three other books. Flynn, a special projects editor at the Times, was the newspaper's police bureau chief on September 11. He previously worked as a reporter for the New York Daily News, New York Newsday, and the Stamford Advocate.

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