American Ground: Unbuilding the World Trade Center by William Langewiesche

By William Langewiesche

Chosen as the best books of 2002 via The big apple Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Sun-Times

Within days after September eleven, 2001, William Langewiesche had secured targeted, unrestricted, round the clock entry to the realm alternate heart website. American Ground is a journey of this excessive, ephemeral global and people who improvised the restoration attempt day-to-day, and within the method reinvented themselves, learning unknown strengths and weaknesses. In all of its aspects--emotionalism, impulsiveness, opportunism, territoriality, resourcefulness, and basic, cacophonous democracy--Langewiesche unearths the unbuilding to be uniquely American and oddly inspiring, a portrait of resilience and ingenuity within the face of catastrophe.

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Portuguese voyages of discovery found a way round the southern tip of Africa in 1486 and across the Indian Ocean in 1497, thus circumventing the Turkish barrier between Europe and the farther East with its coveted spices and other wealth, formerly imported by way of Egypt. Partly the aim was the less materialistic one of striking a blow at Islam, an old enemy for all Iberians in a far more vivid sense than for Englishmen or Frenchmen. The Portuguese 'really hoped to find a Christian ally, perhaps even a black Prester John, in Africa or Asia' ;12 there were old legends about Christian kingdoms far away.

Rome built out eastward, as far as the head of the Persian Gulf, on Hellenistic foundations. It is within the ghostly frontiers of the Roman empire that a European still in a sense grows up and has his being - the empire, as Robert Louis Stevenson 4 Introduction remembered it nostalgically far away in the Pacific, 'under whose toppling monuments we were all cradled, whose laws and letters are on every hand of US',B In political structure it was a European power, ruling wide regions of Asia and Africa as well; it shared with and partly borrowed from its Greek teachers a conviction of representing civilization against barbarism, whether this barbarism was Gothic and primitive or Oriental and decadent.

Maurice Larkin, France Since the Popular Front. Government and People 1936–1986 (Oxford, 1988), p. 259. See Amilcar Cabral, Revolution in Guinea. An African People’s Struggle (1969). Frank Füredi, Colonial Wars and the Politics of Third World Nationalism (1994), p. 222. Ishwari Prasad, The Life and Times of Humayun (Bombay, 1956), p. 89. Observer, 12 February 1967. , Ten Years’ Military Terror in Indonesia (Notting­ham, 1975). Guardian, 9 August 1995. J. ). Y. Teng, The Taiping Rebellion and the Western Powers (Oxford, 1971), pp.

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