After two decades, numerous reports, memoirs and commissions, the definitive story of how the US government struggled to react to the attacks on 9/11 is yet to be told — until now.
9/11 was a unique challenge to the USA, a threat from a “rogue actor” that caught the nation utterly unprepared. William Arkin, veteran military and security analyst and commentator, has reconstructed the minute-by-minute narrative of the day as the nation’s airlines, air control systems, military, air force and central government went from a state of absolute confusion and stunned disbelief until they rallied and began to coordinate the largest shut-down of the US from all outsiders. It was a day of absolute heroism and terrible errors, of heartbreaking final messages and incoherent orders, of misunderstandings and brilliant improvisations. It will change the way you see some of the protagonists of that exceptional, terrible day.
Above all, revisiting the intimate details of the day allows Arkin to ask and answer some vital questions: What did we learn from 9/11? And are we any more likely to be ready if something like it ever happened again?