Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ashes Ashes

Title:  Ashes Ashes the Twins Fall Down, Twin Towers, 9/11
Author:  Pauline Hawkins                                                                                                              
Pages:  117
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Anole Publishing                                                                      
                Pauline Hawkins presents to her readers her reflections regarding the events and repercussions surrounding September 11, 2001.  This nonfiction work is short and briefly covers the ramifications emotionally, economically, socially, and politically of the attack by Osama bin Laden on the United States of America.  There is a lot of information contained in this short memoir, and a lot of it was new to me.  Like the author, I was somewhat naïve to events that happened outside the United States before 9/11 and immediate thereafter.  She purposed to research and educate herself to be betters informed and thus informs us.
The timeline of events beginning with a short bit about bin Laden’s biography and continues to that each of the four hijacked planes.  What they experienced is shown to be crucially important to discovering who the perpetrators were.  Those onboard passengers or flight crew members were able to contact via cell phones or air-to-ground phones authorities and gave them as much information as possible.  Also, some were able to contact their families one last time before the inevitable happened.
There is a chapter about the economic fall-out and how the attack changed the airline industry.  The fact also that many jobs were sent overseas due to cheaper labor is also covered.  The closing of restaurants and small “mom and pop” business in Lower Manhattan is discussed.  The close of Wall Street and the NASDAQ, and that affected the world financial markets is talked about as well.
The cost of lives is painfully revealed as she provides some last conversations between passengers and their families that are just heartbreaking.  Not only did thousands lose their lives by being on the planes and in the towers and Pentagon, but those that were the first responders who gave their lives while trying to save others.  Those involved in the clean-up effort of all the many tons of debris and how the City of New York government didn’t follow federal regulations regarding the wearing of protective respiratory equipment and as a result many of those workers developed chronic respiratory problems and other medical issues related to the toxic air quality.  The City of New York government initially refused to pay any medical bills for those employees who took part in the clean-up, so the workers had to sue the city for payment and they won.
There are other topics covered as well with statistics and facts researched by the author.  A very interesting chapter on the Patriot Act is included.  There is a lot of information to think about and what our reaction as readers should be.  I commend the author for encouraging everyone to be more informed about legislation and the government officials we elect to office.  Where were you when the twin towers fell?
My rating is 3.5 stars.  
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at

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