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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
American Ground

American Ground

Unbuilding the World Trade Center

William Langewiesche; With a New Afterword by the Author

North Point Press


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.

Helen Bernstein Book Award - Nominee, National Book Critics Circle Awards - Nominee, National Book Critics Circle Award - Nominee, National Books Critics Circle Awards - Nominee

The Inner World

When the Twin Towers collapsed, on the warm, bright morning of September 11, 2001, they made a sound heard variously around New York as a roar, a growl, or distant thunder. The South Tower was the first to go. At 9:59 its...

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


Reviews from Goodreads

William Langewiesche; With a New Afterword by 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 American Ground originated as a three-part series.

image of William Langewiescheo
Copyright Andrew Brucker

Langewiesche at Vanity Fair

North Point Press

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