The Only Plane in the Sky by Garrett M. Graff audiobook

The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of September 11, 2001

By Garrett M. Graff
Read by  Holter Graham  and  a full cast

Simon & Schuster Audio


Format : Retail CD (In Stock)
  • $55.99

    ISBN: 9781797103273

Runtime: 15.93 Hours
Category: Nonfiction/History
Audience: Adult
Language: English



New York Times bestseller

The 2020 Audie Award Winner for Audiobook of the Year

The 2020 Audie Award Winner for Best Multi-Voiced Performance

A Time Magazine Pick of the Most Anticipated Books of 2019

A Booklist Pick of the Week


“This is history at its most immediate and moving…A marvelous and memorable book.” —Jon Meacham

“Remarkable…A priceless civic gift…On page after page, a reader will encounter words that startle, or make him angry, or heartbroken.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Visceral...I repeatedly cried…This book captures the emotions and unspooling horror of the day.” —NPR

“Had me turning each page with my heart in my throat…There’s been a lot written about 9/11, but nothing like this. I urge you to read it.” —Katie Couric

The first comprehensive oral history of September 11, 2001—a panoramic narrative woven from the voices of Americans on the front lines of an unprecedented national trauma.

Over the past eighteen years, monumental literature has been published about 9/11, from Lawrence Wright’s The Looming Tower, which traced the rise of al-Qaeda, to The 9/11 Commission Report, the government’s definitive factual retrospective of the attacks. But one perspective has been missing up to this point—a 360-degree account of the day told through the voices of the people who experienced it.

Now, in The Only Plane in the Sky, award-winning journalist and bestselling historian Garrett Graff tells the story of the day as it was lived—in the words of those who lived it. Drawing on never-before-published transcripts, recently declassified documents, original interviews, and oral histories from nearly five hundred government officials, first responders, witnesses, survivors, friends, and family members, Graff paints the most vivid and human portrait of the September 11 attacks yet.

Beginning in the predawn hours of airports in the Northeast, we meet the ticket agents who unknowingly usher terrorists onto their flights, and the flight attendants inside the hijacked planes. In New York City, first responders confront a scene of unimaginable horror at the Twin Towers. From a secret bunker underneath the White House, officials watch for incoming planes on radar. Aboard the small number of unarmed fighter jets in the air, pilots make a pact to fly into a hijacked airliner if necessary to bring it down. In the skies above Pennsylvania, civilians aboard United Flight 93 make the ultimate sacrifice in their place. Then, as the day moves forward and flights are grounded nationwide, Air Force One circles the country alone, its passengers isolated and afraid.

More than simply a collection of eyewitness testimonies, The Only Plane in the Sky is the historic narrative of how ordinary people grappled with extraordinary events in real time: the father and son working in the North Tower, caught on different ends of the impact zone; the firefighter searching for his wife who works at the World Trade Center; the operator of in-flight telephone calls who promises to share a passenger’s last words with his family; the beloved FDNY chaplain who bravely performs last rites for the dying, losing his own life when the Towers collapse; and the generals at the Pentagon who break down and weep when they are barred from rushing into the burning building to try to rescue their colleagues.

At once a powerful tribute to the courage of everyday Americans and an essential addition to the literature of 9/11, The Only Plane in the Sky weaves together the unforgettable personal experiences of the men and women who found themselves caught at the center of an unprecedented human drama. The result is a unique, profound, and searing exploration of humanity on a day that changed the course of history, and all of our lives.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Every single line is breathtaking and heartbreaking, weaving together the story of previously unimaginable and tragic events that changed the course of history.” Newsweek
“Weaves together the stories of airline workers, first responders, generals at the Pentagon, and more to contextualize and seek to further understand the trauma, humanity and history of 9/11.” Time magazine
“The cast chosen for this oral history, led by Holter Graham, is exceptional. They set the right tone of reverence, respect, and awe. No voice is overstated, no emotion too raw. The stories tell themselves, and their power needs no embellishment.” AudioFile
“Allows you to experience this fateful day in an intimately visceral fashion.” Washington Post
“Achieves its chief goal—educating people too young or born too late to remember what the day of September 11, 2001, felt like. But it also restores a form [oral history] to its rightful place as necessity.” New York Times Book Review
“This vivid, moving work is painful to read but honors both those who died and those who survived that awful day.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)



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Author Bio: Garrett M. Graff

Author Bio: Garrett M. Graff

Garrett M. Graff, a distinguished journalist and bestselling historian, is the author of multiple books, including The Threat Matrix, the national bestseller Raven Rock, and the New York Times bestseller The Only Plane in the Sky. He has spent more than a dozen years covering politics, technology, and national security. He serves as the director of cyber initiatives for the Aspen Institute and is a contributor to Wired, CNN, and Politico. He has written for publications from Esquire to Rolling Stone to the New York Times and edited two of Washington’s most prestigious magazines, Washingtonian and Politico Magazine.

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Available Formats : Retail CD
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 15.93
Audience: Adult
Language: English