Thoughts : The Only Plane in the Sky by Garrett M. Gaff

The Only Plane in the Sky : An Oral History of 9/11 by Garret M. Graff

Source : Library Book
TL:DR : Hits hard, but is very important


  • Even know, weeks later, this book is lingering on my mind. This is one of those few really heavy and hard books that I think everyone should read or at least look through.
  • There was so much going on that day – both on individual levels and country levels that I worried the book would struggle. Instead the split between on the ground testimonies and those of the government officials worked really well.
  • The testimonies he picked also worked really well in the ups and downs of the overall story. I have no complaints about the collection here. It made me cry, yet also made me laugh in a few places. People had both terrible and strangely absurd experiences that day.
  • This also highlights the strength and compassion of people. I tend to get stuck in ruts of negativity and while there can be reasons to be negative there is also good in people, and you see a lot of that here.
  • The pictures chosen to compliment the text were also incredibly well curated as well. They are frequently explained and you see the context of the images, making them hit and impact far more than they would have previously.
  • On a light note, did you know they ordered something like 25 bananas for Air Force Once while they were keeping the president in the sky? Who eats that many bananas in a day? Like I figure if I think about it makes some sense but that number boggled me for some reason.

I think this is one for any history fan or anyone who remembers this day well. I still remember where I was and watching the second plane hit, live on tv – so for me it’s a pretty big memory. Even if you’re looking to find out why it was such an impactful event for people on a personal level this would be a great way to do that. Reading the first hand accounts is surreal, terrifying, and also at times uplifting. This is definitely one of the best non-fiction books I’ve read this year, and I highly suspect it’ll be on my best of list at the end of the year.

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