American Ground by William Langewiesche
Unbuilding the World Trade Center

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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 William Langewiesche

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William Langewiesche is an American author and journalist, and was a professional airplane pilot for many years. He is currently the international correspondent for the magazine Vanity Fair, but made his name as a national correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly magazine. He has written articles covering events such as the World Trade Center cleanup, a three-part series which was published as the book American Ground. Langewiesche was a finalist for the 2004 Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage for American Ground. Unbuilding the World Trade Center and 2005 for The Outlaw Sea. He was a finalist for the 2007 Michael Kelly Award. He currently lives in France.
Published April 19, 2004 by North Point Press. 242 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Arts & Photography, Biographies & Memoirs, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Non-fiction

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The Guardian

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To Reach the Clouds: My High Wire Walk Between the Twin Towers by Philippe Petit 227pp, Faber, £12.99 American Ground: Unbuilding the World Trade Center by William Langewiesche 205pp, Scribner, £6.99 These two books tell the before and after of a catastrophe.

Mar 15 2003 | Read Full Review of American Ground: Unbuilding t...

Publishers Weekly

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Langewiesche had unrestricted access to Manhattan's Ground Zero during the post-September 11 cleanup, and his triptych of articles (originally published in the Atlantic Monthly) takes readers through what became known to its denizens as the Pile, from the moment of destruction to the departure of...

| Read Full Review of American Ground: Unbuilding t...

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