The Red Bandanna by Tom Rinaldi

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With dramatic, only occasionally maudlin prose, Rinaldi captures the compelling urgency of the indelible event and fondly tips his hat to Crowther, an exemplary embodiment of human compassion and selflessness. A moving, deeply felt tribute to a courageous individual who sacrificed his life to save others.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

A New York Times bestseller

What would you do in the last hour of your life?

 
The story of Welles Crowther, whose actions on 9/11 offer a lasting lesson on character, calling and courage
  
One Sunday morning before church, when Welles Crowther was a young boy, his father gave him a red handkerchief for his back pocket. Welles kept it with him that day, and just about every day to come; it became a fixture and his signature.

A standout athlete growing up in Upper Nyack, NY, Welles was also a volunteer at the local fire department, along with his father. He cherished the necessity and the camaraderie, the meaning of the role. Fresh from college, he took a Wall Street job on the 104th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center, but the dream of becoming a firefighter with the FDNY remained.

When the Twin Towers fell, Welles’s parents had no idea what happened to him. In the unbearable days that followed, they came to accept that he would never come home. But the mystery of his final hours persisted. Eight months after the attacks, however, Welles’s mother read a news account from several survivors, badly hurt on the 78th floor of the South Tower, who said they and others had been led to safety by a stranger, carrying a woman on his back, down nearly twenty flights of stairs.  After leading them down, the young man turned around.  “I’m going back up,” was all he said.

The survivors didn’t know his name, but despite the smoke and panic, one of them remembered a single detail clearly: the man was wearing a red bandanna.  

Tom Rinaldi’s The Red Bandanna is about a fearless choice, about a crucible of terror and the indomitable spirit to answer it. Examining one decision in the gravest situation, it celebrates the difference one life can make.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Tom Rinaldi

See more books from this Author
Tom Rinaldi has been a correspondent at ESPN for more than a decade. His work has won ten national Sports Emmy Awards, and his writing and feature reporting has been nominated for an Emmy more than 40 times. Born in Brooklyn, NY, he is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Columbia Journalism School. He lives in Cresskill, NJ with his family.
Author Residence: Cresskill, NJ
 
Published September 6, 2016 by Penguin Press. 220 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Children's Books, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Self Help, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Sep 25 2016
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for The Red Bandanna
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Above average
on Jul 04 2016

With dramatic, only occasionally maudlin prose, Rinaldi captures the compelling urgency of the indelible event and fondly tips his hat to Crowther, an exemplary embodiment of human compassion and selflessness. A moving, deeply felt tribute to a courageous individual who sacrificed his life to save others.

Read Full Review of The Red Bandanna | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Oct 26 2016

Rinaldi crafts a meticulous and vivid portrait of Crowther’s life and the desperate hours after the jets hit, including thumbnail sketches of those he aided before the towers fell. All too often, Rinaldi projects anticipatory dread before 9/11...

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20Something Reads

Excellent
Reviewed by Jana Siciliano on Sep 16 2016

...all of us who were there that day or remember that day will find THE RED BANDANNA to be a perfect way to re-examine the real reason beyond terrorism that the 9/11 narratives will always mean so much to all of us. This is a stellar literary achievement.

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