Instinct: The Man Who Stopped the 20th Hijacker

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“Michael Smerconish is perhaps the most intelligent, insightful and provocative public commentator on the current scene. He also has a great narrative style and displays all these glittering talents in Instinct.  The little-known tale of Jose Melendez-Perez’ calm heroism has many important subtexts and vital lessons for our security. Smerconish illuminates them all. It is both important history and great motivational therapy.”
—John F. ...
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Overview


“Michael Smerconish is perhaps the most intelligent, insightful and provocative public commentator on the current scene. He also has a great narrative style and displays all these glittering talents in Instinct.  The little-known tale of Jose Melendez-Perez’ calm heroism has many important subtexts and vital lessons for our security. Smerconish illuminates them all. It is both important history and great motivational therapy.”
—John F. Lehman, former Secretary of the Navy,
    Member of the 9/11 Commission

“Jose Melendez-Perez is a true American hero; but for his actions in preventing the 20th hijacker, Mohamed al-Kahtani, from entering the United States, the Capitol Building might have been destroyed on 9/11.”
—Richard Ben-Veniste, Member of the 9/11 Commission

All author proceeds will be donated to the Flight 93 National Memorial.
 

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

 

Praise for the best-selling Murdered by Mumia

“A harrowing book, told with uncommon grace and dignity.”

Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights

Advance praise for Instinct

 
“Jose Melendez-Perez exemplifies the sheer will, gut instinct and honed expertise of a man devoted to the security of his country. Michael Smerconish superbly shines a deserving spotlight on this true American patriot.”  - The Honorable Tom Ridge
 

"Immigration Inspector Jose Melendez-Perez, along with other unspoken heroes, displayed remarkable instincts in making sure that somebody who has hostile intent against the United States of America does not get the chance to carry out a catastrophe. That coupled with inquiry, observation, technology and proper training are among our best advantages in the war on terror." - Bob Kerrey, President, The New School

Publishers Weekly
At the center of this dramatic true story is Mohammed al Kahtani, allegedly meant to serve as the 20th 9/11 hijacker, whose denial of entry to the U.S. by an Orlando customs officer may have provided just the edge that the passengers of United Flight 93 needed to overpower their captors. The questions that surround him, however, are central to the execution of the war on terror: in particular, was Kahtani a "highly trained al-Qaeda operative" or a "low-level mercenary tortured by his interrogators out of frustration or pure malice?" From the political fallout of denying foreign visitors entry to the fine line between profiling and professionalism (says one interrogation expert, "that intuitiveness, that innate ability, that instinct... if you fine tune it, you have a very powerful person") to the disturbing procedures at Guantanamo Bay, radio talk show host Smerconish (Muzzled: From T-Ball to Terrorism) presents the vivid narrative of United Flight 93 and the issues at hand with the skill of a seasoned reporter. Proceeds from the book support the Flight 93 National Memorial Campaign.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599215167
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/15/2009
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Smerconish

Michael A. Smerconish, attorney-turned-political commentator, has been recognized by Talkers magazine as one of America’s most important talk show hosts. Named Radio & Records’ Local Personality of the Year in 2009, Smerconish now hosts two nationally syndicated daily radio programs, including a morning drive show based at Philadelphia’s The Big Talker 1210 AM WPHT. Both programs are syndicated by Dial Global in a partnership with CBS RADIO. He is the author of four books, including Morning Drive (Lyons Press), Flying Blind, and two New York Times bestsellers: Murdered by Mumia (Lyons Press) and Muzzled: From T-Ball to Terrorism, True Stories That Should Be Fiction. Smerconish was a regular fill-in host for Bill O’Reilly’s nationally syndicated The Radio Factor and has been a guest host on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews. He has appeared on every major television program where politics are discussed—from the Colbert Report to The View—and is a regular contributor at MSNBC. He also authors separate weekly columns for the Philadelphia Daily News and Philadelphia Inquirer

Kurt A. Schreyer is an assistant professor of English at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he teaches courses on Shakespeare and early English drama. He received his Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007.

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Read an Excerpt


An excerpt from Instinct

Two thousand, nine hundred and seventy-three lives. The human toll of what the terrorists wreaked at the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, is still mind-numbing. But it could have been even worse, much worse, except for the efforts—and perhaps more significantly, the instincts—of one man on one day, August 4, 2001. In the course of “just doing his job,” one man changed history and perhaps prevented the virtual decapitation of the United States government on September 11, 2001. His name is Jose Melendez-Perez.

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