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The Eleventh Day
Cover of The Eleventh Day
The Eleventh Day
The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden
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FINALIST FOR THE PULITZER PRIZE
 
For most living Americans, September 11, 2001, is the darkest date in the nation’s history. But what exactly happened on 9/11? Could it have been prevented? And what remains unresolved? Here is the first panoramic, authoritative account of that tragic day—from the first brutal actions of the hijackers to our government’s flawed response; from the untruths told afterward by U.S. officials to the “elephant in the room” of the 9/11 Commission’s report—the clues that point to foreign involvement. New York Times bestselling authors Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan write with access to thousands of recently released official documents, raw transcripts, fresh interviews, and the perspective that can come only from a decade of research and evaluation. Riveting, revelatory, and thoroughly sourced, The Eleventh Day is updated for this edition—with new reporting on a development that the former cochairman of Congress’s 9/11 probe calls the most important in years.
 
This is the essential one-volume work, required reading for us all.
 
“Essential.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
“Meticulous, comprehensive . . . an extraordinary synthesis.”—John Farmer, 9/11 Commission senior counsel
 
“This wide-angle look . . . examines the personalities behind the terror plot, U.S. intelligence blunders, the toxic environmental impact on first responders, the march to war, [and] gray areas in the 9/11 Commission Report.”—The Washington Post
 
“The best available general account of 9/11—soberly written, judiciously weighed, meticulously sourced.”—The Sunday Times
FINALIST FOR THE PULITZER PRIZE
 
For most living Americans, September 11, 2001, is the darkest date in the nation’s history. But what exactly happened on 9/11? Could it have been prevented? And what remains unresolved? Here is the first panoramic, authoritative account of that tragic day—from the first brutal actions of the hijackers to our government’s flawed response; from the untruths told afterward by U.S. officials to the “elephant in the room” of the 9/11 Commission’s report—the clues that point to foreign involvement. New York Times bestselling authors Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan write with access to thousands of recently released official documents, raw transcripts, fresh interviews, and the perspective that can come only from a decade of research and evaluation. Riveting, revelatory, and thoroughly sourced, The Eleventh Day is updated for this edition—with new reporting on a development that the former cochairman of Congress’s 9/11 probe calls the most important in years.
 
This is the essential one-volume work, required reading for us all.
 
“Essential.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
“Meticulous, comprehensive . . . an extraordinary synthesis.”—John Farmer, 9/11 Commission senior counsel
 
“This wide-angle look . . . examines the personalities behind the terror plot, U.S. intelligence blunders, the toxic environmental impact on first responders, the march to war, [and] gray areas in the 9/11 Commission Report.”—The Washington Post
 
“The best available general account of 9/11—soberly written, judiciously weighed, meticulously sourced.”—The Sunday Times
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  • Chapter One ONE

    Did the story begin twenty years ago during the Gulf War, when a great American army was installed in Saudi Arabia, a land sacred to Muslims? Did it begin in 1948, when the United States recognized the declaration of a Jewish state to be known as Israel? Or on the day in 1938 when Americans discovered in Saudi Arabia one of the largest reserves of oil on the planet? From then on, certainly, the West began an addictive dance with danger, one that it dances to this day.

    This is a story, moreover, rooted in a world and a culture that few Westerners really know or can begin to understand, yet played out in the heart of the United States. Mystery and terror, a frightening mix. Yet there is a simple point of entry, a routine event on an ordinary American morning.

    In the dawn of September 11, 2001, in Massachusetts, ninety-two people were getting up, breakfasting, heading for Boston's Logan Airport. They were the passengers and crew of American Airlines Flight 11, one of some forty thousand planes scheduled to crisscross the country that day.

    To glance at some of the names on the passenger manifest, to learn a little about them, is to glimpse the melting pot nature of the country. Philip Rosenzweig, an executive for Sun Microsystems; Thelma Cuccinello, a grandmother on her way to see a sister in California; Peter Gay, a vice president for Raytheon Electronic Systems, traveling with two colleagues; Laura Lee Morabito, U.S. sales manager for the Australian airline Qantas; photographer Berinthia Berenson, widow of the actor Anthony Perkins; David Angell, executive producer of the television series Frasier, accompanied by his wife, Lynn; Jeffrey Mladenik, an ordained minister and acting CEO of a trade publishing company; Lisa Gordenstein, an executive with a discount clothing company; Michael Theodoridis, on his way to a wedding with his wife, Rahma, who was six months pregnant; Walid Iskandar, a business strategy consultant for a British company, setting off to visit his parents; Alexander Filipov, a retired electrical engineer; Daniel Lewin, chief technology officer for Akamai Technologies in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Also on their way to the flight were five young men from the Middle East, an Egyptian and four Saudis.

    The pilot who was to fly these people to California, John Ogonowski, flew twelve days a month and worked the rest of the time on his 150- acre farm. At fifty, he was a veteran of twenty-three years with American, married to a flight attendant. He had hoped to attend a farming event on the 11th, but the schedule proved unchangeable. At 5:00 that morning Ogonowski awoke, kissed his wife, peeked in at their three sleeping teenage daughters, and climbed into his pickup to drive to the airport. His copilot that day would be Tom McGuinness, a former Navy fighter pilot.

    Flight 11, a "turn-around"-an airplane that had flown through the night from San Francisco-was parked at Logan's Gate 32. Captain Ogonowski arrived to a scene of busy activity. The cleaners were working their way through the plane, the fuelers delivering 76,000 pounds of jet fuel. The nine flight attendants in their blue uniforms were gathering.

    Karen Martin, in First Class, was in charge. At forty, she was renowned for her efficiency-"organized_._._._on the stick to a fault." Her backup, Barbara "Bobbi" Arestegui, was diminutive-small enough, crews joked, to fit on the luggage rack. Several colleagues who had been scheduled to fly were not on board. One had called in sick, another had switched to a different flight-she wanted to accompany her father to a doctor's appointment. Two others, waiting on standby, were told they were not required.

    The...
About the Author-
  • Anthony Summers is the award-winning author of seven bestselling nonfiction books. Originally a journalist, he covered events in the United States and the conflicts in Vietnam and the Middle East for the BBC’s flagship current affairs program.
     
    Robbyn Swan, his co-author and wife, has partnered with Summers on three previous books—including biographies of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and President Richard Nixon. They have been consultants on documentaries for PBS, the History Channel, CNN, and the BBC.
Reviews-
  • The Wall Street Journal "Essential."
  • John Farmer, 9/11 Commission senior counsel "Meticulous, comprehensive . . . an extraordinary synthesis."
  • The Washington Post "This wide-angle look . . . examines the personalities behind the terror plot, U.S. intelligence blunders, the toxic environmental impact on first responders, the march to war, [and] gray areas in the 9/11 Commission Report."
  • The Sunday Times "The best available general account of 9/11--soberly written, judiciously weighed, meticulously sourced."
  • Vanity Fair "A sweeping report on the Saudis' broad involvement in the 9/11 attacks."
  • The Star-Ledger "Tick-tock journalism . . . a micro-feel for a macro-event."
  • Boston Sunday Globe "Stunning . . . retells [the] events with unbridled drama."
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    Random House Publishing Group
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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The Eleventh Day
The Eleventh Day
The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden
Anthony Summers
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