Damon DiMarco is a writer and actor who lives in New York City.
Tower Stories: The Autobiography of September 11, 2001by Damon Dimarco
No other book written about September 11th displays the compassion, the breadth of focus, and the exacting eye for historic detail that Tower Stories offers on every single page. In the tradition of Studs Terkel’s The Good War and the Roosevelt Administration’s Slave Narratives, Damon DiMarco has offered a lasting literary contribution of inestimable importance to American culture. The policemen. . .the firemen. . .paramedics. . .witnesses. . .volunteers. . .business owners. . .theoreticians. . .the bereaved of 9/11. . .herein their voices are preserved for all time. So that we, their contemporary countrymen and citizens of a peace-loving world can hear them and share in their intimate understanding of that horrible day.
- Revolution Books, LLC
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- 7.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)
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I believe that, years from now, two documents will survive as the recognized history of September 11th: the 9/11 Commission Report and Damon DiMarco's incredible oral history. The Commission Report offers in-depth documentation of the attack and the forces preceding it. But it falls short of providing the personal recollections so vital to understanding history. TOWER STORIES picks up where the Commission Report leaves off. It humanizes stark fact and grants us the priceless opportunity to reach our own understanding of the event we must never forget.
I'm so glad that someone has done something about 9/11 that isn't a sham. I'm sure publishers (like politicians and retailers and mostly everyone else) were ringing their hands wondering how they can make a few bucks once the 9/11 anniversary rolls around. And I've already seen shlocky books about September 11th this year-- but this book seems like someone did all this work just after 9/11 and then put it away in a safe place until it was ready-- or maybe WE were ready, to hear these people's stories. It's a valuable, valuable work. It stands head-and-shoulders above anything else that I've read on the subject (and i've read a lot). Thanks to Tom Kaene and Damon Dimarco for their efforts in developing something that for many people will bring some closure to what happened to this country on 9/11. We won't forget, but we will move forward.
I was wondering when somebody was going to put something out about this tragedy that wasn't a self-serving glorification or woe-is-us pablum. This book tells it like it was, in the hours and days after this horrible event, in the words of the people who were there, and elsewhere. DiMarco has done an incredible job of deciding what to include in this as each first person account is different, with different emotions and reasons for being. Some people you want to smack in the head for some of the things they say, like this one NY detective who talks about the ways of the street and how to get suspected terrorists to talk and how much he thinks the FBI is useless, and yet you also side with him because he seems to get results-- in his own limited world-view scope. Others break your heart with their stories of loss-- like the lead singer of the New York band The Bogmen whose wife Kristy perished in the Towers, and who years earlier had started the charity Secret Smiles,(to which DiMarco has pledged a portion of the royalties) and the husband of a flight attendant who was on the plane that went down in PA. He tells an incredible story of his incredibly life-loving wife-- you get to know her in his few page contribution that you end up crying your eyes out when it's finally revealed what he goes through when her fate is revealed. And that's predominantly what it's like to read Tower Stories. My wife is a pretty hard-nosed New Yorker but she spent an entire night sobbing and laughing while reading this book. It really captures the history of that horrible day as best I can tell, at least from what I imagine. Like the Chairman of the 9/11 Commission Tom Kean says in the foreword, this book continues the tradition of The Grapes of Wrath and The Disinherited and most of Stud's Terkel's work in that it creates a time-capsule for all eternity. Thankfully someone has done it. Let's just hope it's never again needed.