19 December 2011

'Rubble': A New Book About the 9/11 Families

When I first learned last year that journalist Bob Kemper was writing a book about 9/11 family members, I was slightly apprehensive. After all, in the world of book publishing, what new author wants competition? But after reading Rubble: How the 9/11 Families Rebuilt Their Lives and Inspired America, my apprehension evaporated. Kemper's book and mine are quite different. One difference is that No Truer Hearts is a biography of one 9/11 family member, while Rubble deals mainly with the work of the Family Steering Committee of the 9/11 Commission. Another thing that sets our books apart is the viewpoint and sources. I'll be presenting Beverly's work (along with that of her colleagues on the FSC) from the inside, often through her own eyes, using her own words. Rubble is based mainly on published sources, with the occasional interview with a handful of family members. There is not much information in this book that cannot be gleaned from other sources, so there are none of the illuminating and dramatic revelations that my book will have. But the utility of Kemper's book is in the way it has pulled together various strands of the family member story in a brief and readable form. For a quick overview of the 9/11 attacks, the creation of the 9/11 Commission, and the political wrangling that resulted, with the family members coming out victorious, this is the book for you.

For a 9/11 family member book that takes the reader on a more personal, detailed and emotional journey, readers will just have to wait a little bit longer.


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