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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0786888512, Paperback)Thirteen men from Engine 40, Ladder 35 firehouse initially responded to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001; only one survived. Located near Lincoln Center on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the firehouse was known for its rich tradition and strong leadership. This gripping book details the actions of the 13 men on that horrific day and the heartbreaking aftermath--the search for the bodies, the efforts of their families to deal with overwhelming grief, and the guilt and conflicting emotions of the surviving members of the firehouse. The book is also about the men themselves and the tight bond and sense of duty and honor that held them together. David Halberstam does a masterful job of illustrating the inner workings of a firehouse, with its traditions, routines, and complex social structure that in many ways resembles a "vast extended second family--rich, warm, joyous, and supportive, but on occasion quite edgy as well, with all the inevitable tensions brought on by so many forceful men living so closely together over so long a period of time." He also explains why so many men choose this life despite the high risk, relatively low pay, and physical and emotional demands of the job.
Halberstam and his family live three and a half blocks from Engine 40, Ladder 35, and he writes of these 13 men in such a loving and precise way that he could be describing members of his own clan. Deeply felt and emotional, Firehouse is a tribute to these decent, honorable, and heroic men and a celebration of their selflessness not only as firefighters but also as husbands, fathers, sons, brothers, and friends. --Shawn Carkonen
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:33 -0400)
This book is about Engine 40, Ladder 35, located on the West Side of Manhattan near Lincoln Center. On the morning of September 11, 2001, two rigs carrying thirteen men set out from this firehouse, only one would return. The reader watches the day unfold as the men are called to duty while their families wait for new of them. One comes to understand the culture of the firehouse itself. Why gifted men do this and why in so many instances they are eager to follow in their father's footsteps and serve in so dangerous a profession. And why it is not just a job, but a calling as well.
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