Archive of Books
Rudy Giuliani emerged from the smoke of 9/11 as the unquestioned hero of the day: America’s Mayor, the father figure we could all rely on to be tough, to be wise, to do the right thing. In that uncertain time, it was a comfort to know that he was on the scene and in control, making the best of a dire situation.
But was he really?
Grand Illusion is the definitive report on Rudy Giuliani’s role in 9/11—the true story of what happened that day and the first clear-eyed evaluation of Giuliani’s role before, during, and after the disaster.
While the pictures of a soot-covered Giuliani making his way through the streets became very much a part of his personal mythology, they were also a symbol of one of his greatest failures. The mayor’s performance, though marked by personal courage and grace under fire, followed two terms in office pursuing an utterly wrongheaded approach to the city’s security against terrorism. Turning the mythology on its head, Grand Illusion reveals how Giuliani has revised his own history, casting himself as prescient terror hawk when in fact he ran his administration as if terrorist threats simply did not exist, too distracted by pet projects and turf wars to attend to vital precautions.
Authors Wayne Barrett and Dan Collins also provide the first authoritative view of the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, recounting the triumphs and missteps of the city’s efforts to heal itself. With surprising new reporting about the victims, the villains, and the heroes, this is an eye-opening reassessment of one of the pivotal events—and politicians—of our time.
In City of Dust, Anthony DePalma offers the first full accounting of one of the gravest environmental catastrophes in United States history. The destruction on 9/11 of two of the world’s largest buildings unleashed a vortex of dust and ash that blotted out the sun and has distorted science, medicine and public policy ever since. The likely dangers of 9/11’s massive dust cloud were evident from the beginning, yet thousands chose not to see. Why? As the sickening results of exposure became evident, many still refused to recognize them. Why? The consequences are still being tallied in the wasted bodies and disrupted lives of thousands who gave their all when the need was greatest, but whose demands for justice have been consumed by years of politics and courtroom maneuvers. Why?, separating reality from myth – and doing so with exceptional literary style and grace. DePalma covered Ground Zero for The New York Times for four years. DePalma introduces heroic firefighters, dedicated doctors and scientists, obsessive city officials, partisan politicians, aggressive lawyers, and compassionate judges and reveals the individual decisions that destroyed public trust, and the desperate attempts made to rebuild it. The dust that was the World Trade Center has changed everything it touched. This is the story of that dust, the 9/11 disaster after the disaster, and what it tells us about ourselves and our future.
Within days of the September 11th attack in New York City, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christie Whitman, together with Time Man-of-the-Year Rudy Giuliani, reassured New Yorkers that air “contaminants are either not detectable or are below the Agency’s concern levels.
In fact, EPA tests taken at the time showed high concentrations of toxic materials in the air downtown, including asbestos, dioxins, and heavy metals. Con Edison and the Port Authority revealed—two months after the attack—that nearly 200,000 gallons of diesel fuel and transformer oils, much of it contaminated with low-level PCBs, had escaped beneath Ground Zero. And independent measurements of indoor air, widespread because the agency declined to test private buildings, showed astronomically higher readings.
Prize-winning journalist Juan Gonzalez argues that public officials misled New Yorkers about the real dangers of toxic contamination after September 11. Their failure may have profound effects on the long-term health of New Yorkers and the reputation of the ex-mayor.
Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez is one of the few journalists investigating the environmental impact of the WTC collapse. His previous books include Roll Down Your Window and Harvest of Empire.”