Fall and Rise Book Summary - Fall and Rise Book explained in key points
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Fall and Rise summary

Mitchell Zuckoff

The Story of 9/11

4.3 (103 ratings)
26 mins

Brief summary

Fall and Rise by Mitchell Zuckoff tells the gripping story of the 9/11 attacks, detailing the heroic actions of individuals on that day and the aftermath of the tragedy. It offers a moving and insightful look into the events that changed the world forever.

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    Fall and Rise
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    The September 11 attacks were the result of years of careful planning.

    The roots of what would grow into the September 11 attacks can be traced at least as far back as 1998. That was the year when Osama bin Laden issued a fatwa, a religious decree declaring war on the United States, its citizens, and its interests around the world. 

    Bin Laden had been on the radar of American intelligence agencies for some time. He was wanted thanks to his role in attacks in Yemen, Somalia, and elsewhere. But while there were some that took the threat seriously, the idea of a large-scale, coordinated terrorist attack was unimaginable to most at the time.

    The key message here is: The September 11 attacks were the result of years of careful planning.

    The orchestrator of the attacks was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who had originally envisioned hijacking ten planes and attacking targets on both coasts. The plan was known as the Planes Operation, and Bin Laden approved a less complicated version in 1999. In order to carry it out, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would need men who spoke English, knew something of life in the West, and could obtain travel visas to the United States. 

    One such man was Mohamed Atta, a 33-year-old Egyptian who had been recruited by al-Qaeda while he was a graduate student in Germany. After he had trained in Afghanistan, bin Laden selected him as the tactical commander of the Planes Operation. Shaving his beard and adopting Western clothes in an attempt to blend in, Atta returned to Germany, where he began emailing American flight schools. By late summer 2000, outfitted with new passports and tourist visas, Atta led a small group to Florida, where they began studying to be pilots.

    At the same time, bin Laden handpicked 16 additional men for the operation. One, who already had flight experience, was selected as the fourth pilot. The others, intended as “muscle” to control the passengers and crew, received training in close combat in Afghanistan. By spring 2001, the entire group had entered the United States. 

    As the spring and summer passed, bin Laden became impatient and demanded that the Planes Operation be put into motion. But Mohamed Atta wasn’t ready, continuing to take practice flights and study the routines of airport security and airline crews. Finally, near the end of August, Atta chose the second Tuesday in September as the date. Whether this was simply a logistical choice or if the date had some other, deeper significance remains a mystery. 

    With the date set, Atta and his men purchased plane tickets and found motels in and around Boston, Newark, and Washington, DC. On the evening of September 10, they made their final preparations for what would be their final act.

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    What is Fall and Rise about?

    Fall and Rise (2019) recounts the morning of September 11, 2001, a date when the world changed forever. Operating under the direction of Osama bin Laden, terrorists seized control of four commercial airliners, crashing them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. It tells a story of fear, courage, and strength through the eyes of just a few of the men, women, and children who were there. 

    Fall and Rise Review

    Fall and Rise (2019) by Mitchell Zuckoff is a gripping examination of the events surrounding the September 11 attacks and their aftermath. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With detailed research and interviews, the book provides a comprehensive account of the tragedy, shedding light on lesser-known aspects and human stories.
    • The author's unbiased approach offers a balanced perspective, allowing readers to form their own opinions and gain a deeper understanding of the events.
    • By focusing on the resilience, compassion, and unity of individuals affected by the attacks, the book is far from boring and offers a compelling narrative of hope and humanity.

    Who should read Fall and Rise?

    • People who want to go past the headlines and learn more about the individuals who lived and died on this tragic day
    • Anyone who wants to know what it was like to be a part of history

    About the Author

    Mitchell Zuckoff is a journalist who covered 9/11 for the Boston Globe on the day of the attacks. He has authored seven previous nonfiction books, including the best-seller 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi.

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    Fall and Rise FAQs 

    What is the main message of Fall and Rise?

    The main message of Fall and Rise is the resilience of the human spirit in the face of tragedy and adversity.

    How long does it take to read Fall and Rise?

    The estimated reading time for Fall and Rise is several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Fall and Rise a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Fall and Rise is a captivating and thought-provoking book. It provides a unique perspective on major events and is definitely worth reading.

    Who is the author of Fall and Rise?

    The author of Fall and Rise is Mitchell Zuckoff.