The result is “American Ground: Unbuilding the World Trade Center,” a comprehensive look at the inner workings of the World Trade Center. American Ground has ratings and 65 reviews. Mickey said: This is one of those books that you read at a feverish pace for a few days and then, when fi. In American Ground: Unbuilding the World Trade Center, William Langewiesche describes in detail the cleanup and recovery at Ground Zero following the.

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What an interesting read! The hard work that took place to remove all the rubble and begin to move on. Sep 17, Lynn rated it it was ok. The book also covered the development of hero worship from the ghe to hero worship of the living and how that played out.

American Ground: Unbuilding the World Trade Center

Mar 07, Jeanetta rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Though many believe the towers could not have possibly been brought down by just the plane attacks alone, this book contains enough information that I have come to believe that the disbelief in the attacks results being the sole cause of the towers’ collapse is a reflection of mans’ arrogance, pride, and self-centeredness rather than a conspiracy. Engineers, while being brilliant, do not know everything and this was a catastrophe of a hither-to-unknown magnitude.

The second theme concerns the conflict and challenge of maintaining the dignity and reverence for the “American Ground” that represented the lives of close to 2, individuals. Their responses are as dramatic and unpredictable as the shifting cemter of rubble and the surrounding “slurry wall” that constantly threatens to collapse, potentially flooding a large part of underground Manhattan.

This is a genuinely monumental story, told without melodrama, an intimate depiction of ordinary Americans reacting wotld grand-scale tragedy at their best-and sometimes their worst. Contains little known information and even though it is written from a structural point of view, it contains enough human interest information and accounts that it never grew boring.

A true fearless master of non-fiction writing. He was embedded with the work force, the only journalist to be so situated, and he captures the personalities, challenges, and conflicts of the process. This is a genuinely monumental story, told without melodrama, an intimate depiction of ordinary Americans reacting to grand-scale tragedy at their best—and sometimes their worst.


This aftermath and unbuilding story of September 11th is not one that is commonly heard. In all of its aspects–emotionalism, impulsiveness, opportunism, territoriality, resourcefulness, and fundamental, cacophonous democracy–Langewiesche reveals the unbuilding to be uniquely American and oddly inspiring, a portrait of resilience and ingenuity in the face of disaster.

The jet fuel alone would not hav Very unbuilsing book about how the destroyed World Xmerican Center was removed. It’s interesting to see how fast politics ameriican different factions police, fire department, construction companies came into play after the catastrophe. Both present an honest and in-depth picture of a national tragedy.

May 07, Fred Gumminger rated it it was amazing. Langewiesche shared a new perspective I have not read or seen in a documentary before. American Ground is a tour of this intense, ephemeral world and those who improvised the recovery effort day by day, and in the process reinvented themselves, discovering unknown strengths and weaknesses.

Dec 20, William rated it liked it Shelves: This book is unbelievably good. I nabbed it from a discard cart of library books.

American Ground – Wikipedia

From the first sentence of the book I was in tears, which continued for about a page and a half. Terrorist planes plunging into the World Trade Center, workers trapped in the inferno, people jumping to their deaths, and the Towers collapsing are scenes etched in our memories.

In all of these aspects-its vociferousness, spontaneity, ingenuity, and fundamental democracy-Langewiesche reveals the story of the deconstruction to be uniquely American, and harshly inspiring.

He has constructed an account that will endure against the events of September 11, as John Hersey’s Hiroshima stands in relation to August To ask other readers questions about American Groundplease sign up. The stars of the rest of this story are people unbuliding doesn’t usually read about: I read a bit of this in the Atlantic originally, and always meant to return to it but over time I lost track of the copies.

November 18, American Ground. This was eye opening of what the disaster really looked like.


The people responsible for the WTC’s recovery operation represent Americans. Langewiesche does not shy away from writing of the conflicts that occurred amongst the various groups working amidst the ruins.

One such outsize personality is David Griffin, a demolition expert who drove up from North Carolina, bluffed his way onto the restricted site, and quickly wound up in a position of authority. After the presentation the author answered questions from members of the audience. My job was to observe for them, not as an ‘objective’ journalist or an earnest encyclopedist, but more openly in the first person, as their agent on the ground.

Feb 06, Elizabeth rated it it was amazing. Beginning on the day of the attack, it follows the first efforts to respond to the crisis. Your request has been submitted.

This is Langewiesche’s best book. The Best Books of He has written articles covering events such as the World Trade Center cleanup, a three-part series which was published as the book American Ground. Sep 25, Michael Chinigo rated it it tradd amazing. Otherwise there was plenty of evidence that workers in both places were handling the same materials. At tradr time I thought WL’s emotionless style was cold, but it’s not. Aug 12, Larry rated it it was amazing.

The language is refre This is one of the best nonfiction pieces I’ve ever read. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

Many insights into the structural damage to the Twin Towers and adjacent buildings as well as the underground systems needing exploration in order to move ahead with clean-up and preparations to rebuild. Jan 03, James Carmichael rated it really liked it Shelves: The unsung-and revealing-story of the Herculean ttade to finish the dismantling that terrorism began Unlike any other reporter, William Langewiesche has had unrestricted access to Ground Zero and the people involved in the hte.