What do the following books have in common?
- Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary
- Â Isak Dinesen’s Out of Africa
- Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude
- Voltaire’s Candide
- Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front
- Vonnegut’s God BlessÂ You, Mr. Rosewater
- Charles Portis’ True Grit
- George Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London
They’re all featured in Read This Next: 500 of the Best Books You’ll Ever Read by Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman. Right next to my ownÂ Tower Stories: An Oral History of 9/11.
Mittelmark and Newman write:
“Damon DiMarco wandered through New York in the weeks after the attack on the Twin Towers collecting the first person accounts that comprise Tower Stories: An Oral History of 9/11. As you might expect, the result is a series of seriously tear-jerking stories of loss, heroism, and horror.”
I still wish that Tower Stories never had to be written. But as years pass,Â it’s nice to see that it’s keeping good company.
*Â Â Â Â *Â Â Â Â *
â€œThe only widely available oral history of 9/11 from the perspective of New Yorkers, this monumental work (originally released by Revolution in 2004) has been updated for the sixth anniversary of the national tragedy. In the weeks following the World Trade Center attack, DiMarco, in the tradition of Studs Terkel, wandered Manhattan collecting the stories of Gothamites who survived the collapse of the towers, came to help or simply bore witness-whether from elsewhere in the city, across the country or overseas . . . DiMarcoâ€™s contribution to the memory of that horrific day is enormous; the testimonies collected here form an amazing, one-of-a-kind account.â€Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â STAR REVIEW from Publisherâ€™s WeeklyÂ
â€œ. . .unique, a multitude of firsthand experiences preserved as few other 9/11 books have done. This second edition is expanded with many more photographs and with updates about a number of the witnesses interviewed. Recommended for all public and undergraduate libraries.â€Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Margaret Heilbrun forÂ Library JournalÂ
â€œWhile the events of that day were tragic, inspirational reading experience. Most people experienced the terrorist attacks from a safe distance. Like me, many witnessed the events unfold on television. This book not only puts human faces with the events but also gives a glimpse into the rich culture of New Yorkers. While many of the contributors are obviously still struggling to come to grips with the events of that day, they are survivors, and for that reason, they have earned my admiration. Their stories need to be told and preserved as part of the historical record, and DiMarco does this in a compelling fashion.â€Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Journal of Folklore ResearchÂ
â€œI hope this book remains in print for a very long time to come, because everyone should read it. Our children should read it. With regard to 9/11, we-as a people-cannot allow a myth to take root. We must ground ourselves in our pain if we have any hope of moving forward. And move forward we must.â€Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Thomas Kean, Chairman, 9/11 Commission (From the Foreword of Tower Stories)Â
â€œThis book defends the understanding, as also the horror, of that day. We are indebted to Mr. DiMarco for the effort and for the editorial acuity.â€Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â William F. Buckley, Jr.Â