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Firehouse

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Firehouse.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    David Halberstam(Author)

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A moving testament to the remarkable brotherhood of firemen, from the Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author 'In the firehouse the men not only live and eat with each other, they play sports together, go off to drink together, help repair one another's houses, and, most important, share terrifying risks; their loyalties to each other must, by the demands of the dangers they face, be instinctive and absolute.' o writes David Halberstam, one of America's most distinguished reporters, in this stunning book about Engine 40, Ladder 35-one of the firehouses hardest hit in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center Towers. On the morning of September 11, 2001, two rigs carrying 13 men set out from this firehouse; only one fireman survived. Firehouse takes us to the very epicenter of the tragedy. Through the kind of intimate portraits of the men and their families that are Halberstam's trademark, we watch the day unfold. We come to understand the culture of the firehouse itself, what makes these gifted men want to be firemen, and why in so many instances they are eager to follow in their fathers' footsteps and serve in so dangerous a profession. And why more than anything else, it's not just a job, but a calling. This is journalism-as-history at its best, the story of what happens when one small institution gets caught in an apocalyptic day. It is a book that will move readers as few others have in our time.

A moving testament to the remarkable brotherhood of firemen, from the Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author 'In the firehouse the men not only live and eat with each other, they play sports together, go off to drink together, help repair one another's houses, and, most important, share terrifying risks; their loyalties to each other must, by the demands of the dangers they face, be instinctive and absolute.' o writes David Halberstam, one of America's most distinguished reporters, in this stunning book about Engine 40, Ladder 35-one of the firehouses hardest hit in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center Towers. On the morning of September 11, 2001, two rigs carrying 13 men set out from this firehouse; only one fireman survived. Firehouse takes us to the very epicenter of the tragedy. Through the kind of intimate portraits of the men and their families that are Halberstam's trademark, we watch the day unfold. We come to understand the culture of the firehouse itself, what makes these gifted men want to be firemen, and why in so many instances they are eager to follow in their fathers' footsteps and serve in so dangerous a profession. And why more than anything else, it's not just a job, but a calling. This is journalism-as-history at its best, the story of what happens when one small institution gets caught in an apocalyptic day. It is a book that will move readers as few others have in our time.

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Book details

  • PDF | 201 pages
  • David Halberstam(Author)
  • Hachette Books; 1 edition (May 29, 2002)
  • English
  • 8
  • History

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Review Text

  • By TravellingCari on April 9, 2016

    I feel as if I'm talking to a ghost. Not just the ghosts of the men from Engine 40/Ladder 35, but the ghost of David Halberstam who was gone within a few years of writing this book. So many lives lost way too soon.I seem to be on a 9/11 drive, having read The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland earlier this year and just finishing Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero prior to this book. ALthough both of those books moved me, this moved me to ugly tears while riding the Staten Island Ferry.I liked how the early pages of the book set the tone for the neighborhood's demographic shift. In some ways it's a biography of the building and company as well as the house. The chalkboards with the names are poignant as cover flaps and now I almost feel as if I need to make a pilgrimage.I liked the way Halberstam worked with the surviving men from the other tours -all but one who went out that morning died- as well as the dead men's spouses to construct profiles that truly brought each of the men to life. No matter how much time I spend on the Upper West Side, I don't think I've ever seen this firehouse. I do feel as if I know all of these men though. Men who no doubt knew they were taking their last ride when they left the firehouse and headed down to Ground Zero within an hour of the first plane hitting.I see Jack Lynch at what is now the Memorial & Museum but what was then The Hole watching and waiting for them to be able to excavate the area where he knew his son was. I see all those memorials, all those kids who will now grow up without their fathers. I feel as if I know Callahan, Giberson and his boots, Otten, Roberts, Bracken and the Bracken Bounce, Morello and his love of cars, Shea, Ginley, GAry. Buddha, Lynch, Marshall, Mercado and D'Auria. I hope that this book and their memories in their families' hearts and mind keep them alive. Like the Arizona and oil.

  • By A treveling Man on May 28, 2007

    I have to admit I didn't know about this book until I read Halberstam's obituary. Once I got a copy and read it I quickly decided that this was one of his best works - if not the best. A look into his neighborhood firehouse and the men who worked there and died on 9/11.You meet all the men and learn about their lives. Most of them had firefighters in thier family. Most were married although one was seperated and one had a fiancee. It is important to learn about their lives outside the firehouse because it gives greater substance to thier lives inside the firehouse. You learn of one man's decision to remodel the firehouse after it had officially been remodeled but left living space restricted and unpopular. His officer was told to stay away because "you don't want to know what is happening" as the man knocked down the walls with a sledge hammer. Their captain is new to the fire house and the men and they aren't sure about him. At one fire he is given an unpopular order by superiors to go through a decontamination process. He tells the superior that you and your men went through the same place we did so you need to do this and we'll be watching to make sure you do. With that he told his men to get on the rig and go back to the firehouse. His men decided that "they had a captain!".Thirteen men went out to the WTC. Twelve died and one survived but with lasting medical problems. What I found to be particularly tragic was that one man was a replacement from another fire house. He didn't even have time to unpack his bag before he went out with the others. Did anyone have a chance to meet him? Did he die not knowing the men around him? I find that troubling - to die with men you know is one thing - to die not knowing them or them not knowing you is worse.Most of the men weren't found right away - it was months later that they were found when an access road was cleared away from the site. Under the road were the men. The vigil by families as they visited the site to mourn and in their own way participate in the search was moving and quite understandable.There are many moving moments in this book. How could there not be. It is something most men knew might happen but were incredibly confident that it wouldn't happen to them. It is also moving to read as the families cope with this disaster in thier many ways and on many levels.The only regret I had about the book was that it was published too soon. One man was still missing so we don't know if his body was ever found. Maybe it would have been useful for a followup volume to provide closure for the readers as they have all become intimitely involved with the men and families of the firehouse.It is a small book and a relatively quick read but it is well worth it. I think this is one of Halberstam's best efforts and probably one that was the most intimate for him.I highly recommend this book.


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