For Tower Stories: An Oral History of 9/11:

Foreword by Tom Kean, Chairman of the Independent 9/11 Commission

with an introduction by the Author

“The 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 . . . DiMarco’s contribution to the memory of that horrific day is enormous; the testimonies collected here form an amazing, one-of-a-kind account.”

STAR REVIEW from Publishers Weekly

“Arguably the most successful attempt at capturing the enormity of the events of 9/11, Damon DiMarco’s sprawling oral history runs a wide gamut of testimony from survivors, responders, witnesses and people whose lives were forever altered by the attacks. The human stories are presented with a raw candor a thousand times more affecting than any cold statistic offered by a commission. The most recent, expanded edition includes follow-up interviews with some of the individuals initially profiled, providing updates on their lives and their ongoing struggles to come to terms with the events of a decade ago. Tower Stories is a riveting and disarmingly emotional read.”

MSNBC Today, from the article “Five must-read books about 9/11 and its legacy” by Alex Smith and Rick Schindler

“. . .heart-breaking reminiscences by New Yorkers who survived the attack and then endured a decade of denial, doubt, and rebuilding.”

The New York Times, from the article “Stories of 9/11 and its Aftermath” by Sam Roberts

“. . .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.”

Margaret Heilbrun for Library Journal

“While 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.”

Journal of Folklore Research

“I 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.”

Thomas Kean, Chairman, 9/11 Commission (From the Foreword of Tower Stories)

“This 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.”

William F. Buckley, Jr.

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For My Two Chinas: The Memoir of a Chinese Counterrevolutionary (with Tang Baiqiao)

” . . . beautifully written . . . Tang fully embraces the poetry and stories of China . . . His book is both a history lesson and a heart-wrenching read.”

Publishers Weekly

“His Holiness hopes that this book will encourage other Chinese to strengthen their democratic aspirations and put the spotlight on the weakness of the attitudes of some of the current leaders in China.”

from the book’s foreword by His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

My Two Chinas is beautifully written by Baiqiao Tang and Damon DiMarco. The bravery shown by Tang and other Chinese students who stood up to the Communist Chinese government was extraordinary. Their story deserves to be known. This is the place to start.”

Edward I. Koch, Former Mayor of New York City (from 1978 -1989), influential political commentator

My Two Chinas is a very personal and insightful story about one man’s struggle to be free. I consider it a must-read for anyone encouraged by stories of hope and the good fight. Author Damon DiMarco brilliantly leads the reader through the maze of Baiqiao Tang’s life as he runs from secret police, survives torture and imprisonment, and eventually escapes to the United States. But perhaps best of all, reading this book helped me to answer many questions I had regarding the events that transpired in the crackdown that followed Tiananmen Square. Many pro-democracy activists are still imprisoned in China today. I admire the courage and bravery shown by Baiqiao Tang and thousands of other Chinese like him who shined during those dark days.”

from the book’s preface by Jeff Widener, Pulitzer-finalist, nominated for the acclaimed “Tank Man” photo taken at Tiananmen Square

“One can make sweeping statements about China, and they will probably be at least partially true. But a higher level of truth is found in the day-to-day experiences of someone like Baiqiao Tang. Although he writes mostly about his native Hunan Province, this is the story of China. Tang’s grandfather used to complain about the decline of the writing skills of his countrymen. Too bad he isn’t alive to enjoy his grandson’s beautifully written autobiography, which reads almost like a novel. I couldn’t set it down.”

Prof. James D. Seymour of Chinese Hong Kong University, expert on China and Tibet, author of New Ghosts, Old Ghosts: Prisons and Labor Reform Camps in China.

“There are many Chinese, more than a billion of them, but there are relatively few to speak for them: to speak for their rights, their dignity, and their freedom. Baiqiao Tang is one such person. He speaks, not only for himself, but for masses of his countrymen, who are gagged. If the Communist dictatorship in China ever falls, Tang will be one of those who gave it a hard, wonderful push.”

Jay Nordlinger, Senior Editor, National Review

“Tang Baiqiao’s support for Chinese freedom and human rights has remained constant since his days as a student leader during the 1989 democracy movement, as conveyed in this outstanding book. His work and indomitable fighting spirit have made a tremendous impact on the international community. His unwavering belief in China’s future as a democracy makes him a voice to be heeded as the world continues to change.”

Yan Jiaqi, noted political scientist and dissident; adviser in Zhao Ziyang’s political reform office; leading intellectual during the 1989 democracy movement; author of Turbulent Decade: A History of the Cultural Revolution.

“This memoir is courageously written in the ink of blood and tears. It exposes the crimes and human cruelty committed by China’s government behind the guise of prosperity. Despite enormous challenges, Hunan native Tang Baiqiao has struggled ceaselessly to drive the darkness out of China.”

He Qinglian, renowned economist; critic of Chinese media; author of the international bestseller The Pitfalls of Modernization.

“A soul-stirring story. In telling Tang’s story, Tang and DiMarco highlight the plight of many Chinese dissidents, and do so with keen sensitivity. Over the years, Tang has acted as a beacon of hope and resolve to those who seek change for China. Let the message of this book go forth: we remember Tiananmen Square, and our work has just begun.”

Jiao Guobiao, noted dissident writer; banned Professor of Journalism Beijing University; author of the ground-breaking essay, Denouncing the Central Propaganda Department.

“Good versus evil. A fractured nation. A family torn apart. The banished hero continues to fight from exile. This book carries all the hallmarks of myth, and yet it really happened. Tang Baiqiao has torn back the veil. Let the world take a good long look. Here is a true story of Tiananmen Square.”

Thomas Guo Guoting, leading human rights attorney, law professor, author.

“These days, many people dominate the world spotlight, and often for the wrong reasons. To me, the real hero is Tang Baiqiao, whose commitment to democracy and human rights has never wavered, even when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds. As the eyes of the world focus on China’s economic success, I am proud that Tang Baiqiao continues his fight to defend those vulnerable groups whom the Chinese government persecutes. Young people everywhere should read this book. Tang Baiqiao’s inspiring life will fuel their dreams for a better world.”

Dan Li, noted AIDS activist in China, winner of the international Reebok Human Rights Award

“Do you remember the massacre that took place at Tiananmen Square? Do you remember the brave souls who gave their lives for democracy? Tang Baiqiao has never forgotten. His excellent book serves a noble purpose: to remind the world of what China lost, and what its people still hope to gain.”

Xu Wenli, founder of the Chinese Democracy Party, imprisoned for sixteen years for pro-democracy activism, now senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University

“Economics aside, China has the misfortune to be ruled by Communists, dictators, tyrants, and thugs. In 1989, the Tiananmen Square massacre was world news. This book, by an authentic student leader of the uprising, is one part personal memoir; one part back story on a major world event; and one part follow up, casting light on the Chinese democracy movement in exile, where the fight continues. Tang Baiqiao is a dynamic campaigner who continues to fight the good fight. He and his co-author Damon DiMarco have rendered a blow-by-blow account in a book that is engaging, accessible for general readers, and clear as a bell. Perhaps the book will serve as a wake up call for the international community, which should step up efforts at democracy promotion for such an important country. The China Support Network highly recommends this book.”

John P. Kusumi, founder of the pro-democracy China Support Network

“In the face of oppression most people cower, a few cannot. Baiqiao Tang acted in 1989 and still strives to change China today. His struggle teaches us much about the transformation of ordinary people into extraordinary human beings. This is the amazing story of one man’s journey of constant confrontation and his unbreakable spirit. To read it helps you understand the many nameless and faceless men and women standing up every day to China’s persistent repression.”

Jeffrey Fiedler, U.S. China Economic Security and Review Commission

My Two Chinas is one of the most moving, witty, and entertaining memoirs to come out of China since the 1989 Tiananmen demonstrations, a graceful collaboration between a splendid mind that yearns for a free China and the sure pen of his English collaborator.  As we travel with Baiqiao Tang, one of China’s most famous dissidents, through his days of demonstration, flight, imprisonment and exile, we are reminded of the rule of terror that lies behind China’s growing military and economic might.  The next time that economy compels you to buy something made in China, do penance by picking up and reading a copy of this book as well.”

Steven W. Mosher, President of the Population Research Institute; author of A Mother’s Ordeal, China Misperceived, Journey to the Forbidden China, and Broken Earth.

“This well-crafted tale of one man’s ordeal and his message of hope should be required reading in the West. We cannot continue to ignore the human cost that results from turning a blind eye to tyranny in exchange for low-cost consumer goods. Do not subscribe to the illusion that China is developing an open and harmonious society. My Two Chinas provides a serious reminder of what happened in 1989, as well as a revealing look at what lurks behind the false smiles of China’s current, more media-savvy leaders. I read My Two Chinas on a long flight to Shanghai, and I simply could not put my iPad down. The long flight was over before I realized it. But on this trip, I saw the landscape around me from a very different perspective. I will never look at China the same way again. Mr. Tang and Mr. DiMarco have done China and the world a service by producing this engaging book. My Two Chinas makes learning some very ugly truths a most enjoyable read.”

Greg Autry, noted entrepreneur and author on Chinese affairs, The Paul Merage School of Business, University of California, Irvine

“In a rare glimpse into the chaotic nature of the June 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, activist Tang (Anthems of Defeat: Crackdown in Hunan Province 1989-1992), charged and imprisoned afterward as a “counter-revolutionary,” recounts the painful experiences of his rise to become one of China’s most outspoken dissidents. Many who challenged the Communist regime tragically paid the highest price, while others sacrificed their freedom for lifelong imprisonment. Tang here describes being caught and detained as a dissident after the government crackdown, revealing the intense 12 months of captivity he suffered at the hands of his prison guards. He goes on to write about his release, acceptance into the United States via Hong Kong, and life up to the present day as he challenges the Chinese Communist Party from afar for more democracy. China’s government has gone to extraordinary lengths to erase Tiananmen Square from the memory of its people.

VERDICT An insightful look into the conditions in China’s hidden prison systems, yet of greatest value as a personal, rather than political memoir. Recommended for readers interested in post-Tiananmen Square China.”

For Library Journal, Allan Cho, Univ. of British Columbia Lib., Vancouver

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For The Actor’s Art & Craft (with William Esper):

” . . . a fantastic, long-overdue exploration of actor training. Co-authored by [William] Esper protege Damon DiMarco, himself an actor and teacher, the book is a step-by-step overview of the exercises and ideas Esper has sharpened and refined through the years. His goal is to clearly define a technique applicable to any challenge an actor may face in the course of a career” whether Shakespeare or Stoppard, the stage or the Internet. The aim is to build a well-structured foundation that can handle any style, situation, or format . . . By following a class of real students over the course of a year, the authors successfully put the reader through the class as well. Many acting books, going back to Stanislavsky, have used this device, but it really works here because there is so much pure sincerity and wisdom in Esper’s approach. Beginning with basic repetition exercises and moving on to concentration and scene study, Esper and DiMarco chronicle one of the best and most effective techniques an actor can study. The book serves as an amazing tool and resource without being dogmatic or hampering. As Esper puts it, ‘Ultimately technique does not constrain an artist’s instincts, it frees them.'”

Backstage Magazine 10/16/08

“. . . A must-read for aspiring and established actors of all stripes . . . The Actor’s Art and Craft is co-written by Damon DiMarco, an actor and former Esper student who spent more than a year observing Esper’s teaching methods . . . DiMarco’s engaging prose adds a textured layer to some of the everyday circumstances encountered by Esper’s students . . .It’s little wonder why The Actor’s Art & Craft is one of the most eagerly anticipated performing arts books of the spring 2008 publishing season.”

Show Business Weekly

“. . . I’ve spent my life working with actors. To do so one needs but a few, essential tools, the mastery of which is the challenging work of a lifetime: be patient, be precise, be terse, encourage, suggest, praise, listen. I was first exposed to these tools through the example of Bill Esper, and I am very grateful.”

David Mamet (from the foreword to The Actor’s Art & Craft)

“. . . Every serious actor who dreams of becoming a first rate artist must read this book!”

Calista Flockhart

“A veritable magnum opus on acting from a master teacher.”

Olympia Dukakis

“. . . It’s the best book on the craft of acting that I have ever read.”

Mary Steenburgen

“. . . This book is a wonderful journey into Bill’s process. It gives the novice and even the veteran   actor  a vocabulary and guidelines on how to solve the acting problems that any text presents.”

Sam Rockwell

Review of The Actor’s Art & Craft from MUSE, the Theatre Journal of Johns Hopkins University Press

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For Shock & Awe – A Play in Two Acts:

“. . . an admirable production . . . Shock & Awe is a polished script, which DiMarco adapted from his book of the same title, taken from interviews he did with returning Iraq veterans. . .it’s impossible not to be moved by sacrifice piled on sacrifice . . . there was a true, life-and-art affirming sense of theatrical community.”

The Cincinnati Enquirer

“Above all, this play points out that the true casualties from this war [in Iraq] are largely hidden to the naked eye.”

Dayton Daily News

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For Fat Kid Got Fit: And So Can You! (with Bill Baroni)

“Baroni is neither a trainer, nor a doctor, nor a dietitian, nor a salesman. He’s an ordinary civil servant who lost 120 pounds by following the Duke University Diet & Fitness Center plan. Ten weeks there gave him the knowledge he needed to recognize what the fast-food lifestyle was doing to him. He traces his own path and, with humor and style, passes the information he learned along to readers. This can work for anyone.”

Library Journal STARRED REVIEW

Fat Kid Got Fit is a must for those who suffer because of their weight and want to change. Bill Baroni learned that the best reason to get fit and stay healthy is to enjoy life even more. He created a physical, emotional, and spiritual metamorphosis for himself. This book gives a clear and readable description of the steps he took . . .and so can you!”

Dr. Michael Hamilton, former Director of the Duke University Diet & Fitness Center

Fat Kid Got Fit is a must read book for anyone battling their weight. It introduces a new role model to the millions of people worldwide who are fighting for healthier lives. Obesity presents a serious and daunting modern health problem, especially for children. Yet Bill Baroni offers solutions. We can all learn something from his vision, determination, and strength.”

The Honorable Tommy G. Thompson, former Secretary of Health & Human Services, former Wisconsin Governor

“Physically, Bill Baroni is a pale shadow of his former self. But spiritually he’s the same guy: “ dynamic, funny, magnetic. All those qualities are poured into this wonderful book and reinforce his sane, simple message: I took control of my health, my body, and my life. And you can, too.”

Steve Roberts, co-author of the New York Times bestseller From This Day Forward

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For The Quotable Actor: 1001 Pearls of Wisdom from Actors Talking About Acting

“From Peter O’Toole (‘Acting is just a matter of farting about in disguises’) to Rod Steiger (‘Artists are the only true aristocrats’), there are as many points of view on acting, theater, film, the public, Shakespeare, and fame as there are actors (nearly 500) in The Quotable Actor. While many of the quotes are quite serious and often insightful, others are self-deprecating throw-away lines that sound varying degrees of sincerity. Actor, teacher, and director Damon DiMarco groups the quotes, taken from a variety of interviews and other media sources, into loose categories and sequences them to create a sort of dialogue among the different speakers, with overly portentous or dramatic voices balanced by the more flippant comments.”

Bloomsbury Reviews, April 2010

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For Heart of War: Soldiers’ Voices from Iraq

“. . . DiMarco has assembled 18 Iraq war testimonies of soldiers ranging from a West Point-educated tanker who was early into Baghdad to truck drivers who have been targets for improvised explosive devices. Those interviewed include a high proportion of highly intelligent people, whose essential work, which often involved dealing directly with Iraqi culture, is seldom publicized, and they exemplify a panoply of those returning from Iraq — career military, disgruntled and life-disrupted recalled reservists, victims of broken marriages and of contamination by depleted uranium particles, and male and female enlistees who have finally filled their military contracts and are home, they hope, to stay. DiMarco’s respect for his interviewees and sidebars on weapons and tactics (some rather chilling and even appalling) further distinguish this addition to Iraq war literature.”

American Library Association

“Damon DiMarco has assembled an unflinching compilation of first person narratives of returning military personnel that personalizes America’s involvement in Iraq in a manner all-too-rarely covered by mainstream media . . . Whether voiced by farm kids, street smart city dwellers, or the sons and daughters of America’s elite, the accounts of horrors, brutality and pathos are relentless and devastating.”

CultureKiosque

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For Out of Bounds (with Roy Simmons):

“A story …full of raw vitality that too often found auto-combustive expression – before, during and after his days in the NFL…Blisteringly honest portrait of a man fencing with his self-destructive instincts.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Simmons is particularly harrowing in relating his descent into the grimy life of drug addiction. . . Readers interested in sports or gay biography will get their money’s worth.”

Library Journal

“Simmons’ tale is not for the faint of heart.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune

“In Out of Bounds, his always-compelling — and frequently harrowing — autobiography, Simmons comes clean about the toll that living a lie and keeping too many secrets has taken on his life. Those expecting a book full of game plays, football statistics and edited highlights will be in for a shock. While such elements inevitably are part of Out of Bounds, they take a back seat to the often lurid details of Simmons’ many addictions and the consequences of his actions.”

The Windy City Times

“Only the second NFL player to admit he was gay (a third, Esera Tuaolo, has since made the announcement), Simmons’s confession shocked the sports world. But it is what led up to that show that proves even more shocking. In this gritty, unflinching memoir, Simmons recounts how keeping his sexuality tucked tightly under his football pads steered him into a clandestine life filled with sex, drugs, sex, lies and sex. Unlike recently celebrated and bestselling rehab memoirs, Simmons’s story has no happy ending . . . Simmons has since become the only former NFL player to disclose that he is HIV positive, but his illness has done little to derail his self-destructive lifestyle. Even now, 13 years after that televised confession, he seems strangely proud of his exploits. This memoir may not be a must-own for the casual-or even avid-football fan, but it should be required reading for every nascent professional athlete-as a manual of what not to do.”

Publishers Weekly

***Out of Bounds was nominated for a 2006 Lambda Award.

HostGator review