by Tom Murphy

On the morning on September 11, 2001, thousands of airline and airport professionals headed off for what they assumed would be just another day on the job. Of course it was anything but. Now, as the US marks the fifth anniversary of that tragic day, some of the stories of the heroes and casualties among our dedicated air travel workers are told.

Reclaiming the Sky honors not only those workers who died doing their jobs, but also the ones that soldiered through on that day and in the aftermath, tirelessly piecing back together the fragments of a shattered industry—and indeed a critical social and economic force—while putting aside their own fears and grief.

214pp; 17 b&w photos; hardbound with dust jacket

Airways review:

This one is a gripping read. There are lots of books about 9/11, not least of them the well-done report of the official commission. But this one offers something a bit different as it focuses on a selection of the airline and airport officials and workers and how they each reacted on that awful day and thereafter. It is a story very well told.

Murphy is a airline customer service trainer based in Seattle. This book grew out of that consulting. By focusing on a series of interconnected lives, we get a very vivid sense of how the shock that hit all of us impacted especially on those at airports and with airlines. The well-written mixture adds to the drama in what are, in effect, a series of people stories. Indeed, this is written as a conversation in many places as the author explored what happened to many of the personnel, some of them victims, and their friends and colleagues.

The book's chapters are divided into four sections...covering the day itself, after the day, clues to recovery for those left behind, and why we fly. You can almost see the consulting pep sessions behind those headings, but the book steers clear of pathos in making its key points—to present a view of the day other than what we all saw on the screen, and how people have coped in the five years since. Sobering it may be, but worthwhile reading, too. CHS

Price: $21.95

Airways Item: B352-01

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