A solid retelling of the tragedy with no new disclosures.




Familiar story of the hijacked 9/11 plane that crashed into an open field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

The so-called “fourth plane” involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, United Airlines Flight 93 took off from Newark bound for San Francisco. When four young Middle Eastern men seized control of the cockpit, passengers fought back and prevented the terrorists from reaching their intended target: the Capitol in Washington, D.C. In this debut, McMillan, vice president of communications for the Pittsburgh Penguins and volunteer at the Flight 93 National Memorial, re-creates the event—based on passenger phone calls, the cockpit voice recorder, interviews and the official record of the past 13 years—as well as the aftermath, including the dedication of the memorial in 2011. Noting that “we will never know everything…many of the facts are buried with the heroes,” the author pieces together a vivid picture of the scene within the plane: the hijackers instilling fear in everyone (stabbing passengers, threatening to explode a nonexistent bomb) before killing the cockpit crew; the 40 varied passengers (from lawyers and businessmen to students and retirees), 12 of whom made 35 wrenching phone calls, learning that other planes had just slammed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon; and the brave decision to take back the plane before it destroyed yet another iconic American place. Athletic passengers (a judo champ, a weight lifter, etc.) apparently joined businessman Todd Beamer (“Let’s roll!") and others in storming the cockpit, while the hijacker pilot tried to thwart the sustained assault by rocking the plane. Flight 93 crashed at 563 mph, killing everyone and creating a crater 30 feet across and 15 feet deep. The author recounts the post-crash heroics of coroner Wally Miller and many others in the rural farming and coal-mining community.

A solid retelling of the tragedy with no new disclosures.

Pub Date: Sept. 11, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7627-9522-2

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Lyons Press

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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Not an easy read but an essential one.

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Title notwithstanding, this latest from the National Book Award–winning author is no guidebook to getting woke.

In fact, the word “woke” appears nowhere within its pages. Rather, it is a combination memoir and extension of Atlantic columnist Kendi’s towering Stamped From the Beginning (2016) that leads readers through a taxonomy of racist thought to anti-racist action. Never wavering from the thesis introduced in his previous book, that “racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas,” the author posits a seemingly simple binary: “Antiracism is a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equity and are substantiated by antiracist ideas.” The author, founding director of American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center, chronicles how he grew from a childhood steeped in black liberation Christianity to his doctoral studies, identifying and dispelling the layers of racist thought under which he had operated. “Internalized racism,” he writes, “is the real Black on Black Crime.” Kendi methodically examines racism through numerous lenses: power, biology, ethnicity, body, culture, and so forth, all the way to the intersectional constructs of gender racism and queer racism (the only section of the book that feels rushed). Each chapter examines one facet of racism, the authorial camera alternately zooming in on an episode from Kendi’s life that exemplifies it—e.g., as a teen, he wore light-colored contact lenses, wanting “to be Black but…not…to look Black”—and then panning to the history that informs it (the antebellum hierarchy that valued light skin over dark). The author then reframes those received ideas with inexorable logic: “Either racist policy or Black inferiority explains why White people are wealthier, healthier, and more powerful than Black people today.” If Kendi is justifiably hard on America, he’s just as hard on himself. When he began college, “anti-Black racist ideas covered my freshman eyes like my orange contacts.” This unsparing honesty helps readers, both white and people of color, navigate this difficult intellectual territory.

Not an easy read but an essential one.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-50928-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: One World/Random House

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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