Touching History [Audiobook]
10 April 2014, 04:13
2008 | MP3@96 kbps | 9 hrs 52 mins | 407.66MB
Touching History is told through the eyes of commercial airline pilots, FAA and military controllers, jet fighters and key military personnel at the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and its subunit Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS), and the national FAA Command Center, whose personnel had to grapple with the bizarre and unprecedented unfolding drama of the attacks.
In a round-robin narrative in the style of Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn's 102 Minutes, Lynn Spencer takes readers right to the front lines of the unfolding drama as the realization hits that multiple hijackings are underway and then that the country is under attack. From the computer screen of the comptroller who first noticed that American flight 11 was flying off course, to the phone call from a stewardess onboard alerting American Airlines emergency personnel that hijackers had killed two flight attendants and entered the cockpit, to the battle cab of the military commander who ordered fighter jets in the air and the NASA-like operations floor of the FAA Command Center, to the cockpits of a number of the 4,500 commercial airliners flying over the United States that morning, Spencer follows the story all the way through the end of the day, when the fog of war had finally lifted and the country could assess exactly what had happened.
Spencer conducted hundreds of interviews and spoke to every key player in the airline industry and military who was involved in the major air events of the day—including a number of people the 9/11 Commission did not speak to. We hear from Ben Sliney, the man who came to work that morning for his first day on the job as the Operations Chief of the FAA and who made the brilliant, unprecedented decision to ground every commercial plane in the sky and close U.S. airspace; the military commanders who decided to override protocol and send fighter jets to defend Washington without approval; the pilot of Delta Flight 19889, which was mistakenly identified as a fifth hijacking; and the sole FAA controller who stayed at his post in the Boston Center, which was reported to be under attack, and provided the military with almost all of the information it got about the whereabouts of hijacked planes.
Based on highly detailed accounts from these interviews, as well as on the voluminous records of radio transmissions from the controllers, the hijacked planes, and many of the other planes that were in the air that day, Spencer fills in many holes in the story as it was reported by the 9/11 Commission. She also brings to pulse-quickening life the confusion, the horror, and the fierce determination and quick thinking of so many key players as they improvised their responses to a shocking new type of warfare.
Colossus Hoover Dam and the Making of the American Century [Audiobook]
06 April 2014, 14:45
2010 | MP3@96 kbps | 18 hrs 57 mins | 782.16MB
As breathtaking today as the day it was completed, Hoover Dam not only shaped the American West but helped launch the American century. In the depths of the Great Depression it became a symbol of American resilience and ingenuity in the face of crisis, putting thousands of men to work in a remote desert canyon and bringing unruly nature to heel.
Pulitzer Prize–winning writer Michael Hiltzik uses the saga of the dam’s conception, design, and construction to tell the broader story of America’s efforts to come to grips with titanic social, economic, and natural forces. For embodied in the dam’s striking machine-age form is the fundamental transformation the Depression wrought in the nation’s very culture—the shift from the concept of rugged individualism rooted in the frontier days of the nineteenth century to the principle of shared enterprise and communal support that would build the America we know today. In the process, the unprecedented effort to corral the raging Colorado River evolved from a regional construction project launched by a Republican president into the New Deal’s outstanding—and enduring—symbol of national pride.
Yet the story of Hoover Dam has a darker side. Its construction was a gargantuan engineering feat achieved at great human cost, its progress marred by the abuse of a desperate labor force. The water and power it made available spurred the development of such great western metropolises as Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and San Diego, but the vision of unlimited growth held dear by its designers and builders is fast turning into a mirage.
In Hiltzik’s hands, the players in this epic historical tale spring vividly to life: President Theodore Roosevelt, who conceived the project; William Mulholland, Southern California’s great builder of water works, who urged the dam upon a reluctant Congress; Herbert Hoover, who gave the dam his name though he initially opposed its construction; Frank Crowe, the dam’s renowned master builder, who pushed his men mercilessly to raise the beautiful concrete rampart in an inhospitable desert gorge. Finally there is Franklin Roosevelt, who presided over the ultimate completion of the project and claimed the credit for it. Hiltzik combines exhaustive research, trenchant observation, and unforgettable storytelling to shed new light on a major turning point of twentieth-century history.
Rocket Men [Audiobook]
04 April 2014, 06:24
2000 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 17 hrs 13 mins | 470.84MB
A richly detailed and dramatic account of one of the greatest achievements of humankind
At 9:32 A.M. on July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 rocket launched in the presence of more than a million spectators who had gathered to witness a truly historic event. It carried Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Mike Collins to the last frontier of human imagination: the moon.
Rocket Men is the thrilling story of the moon mission, and it restores the mystery and majesty to an event that may have become too familiar for most people to realize what a stunning achievement it represented in planning, technology, and execution.
Through interviews, twenty-three thousand pages of NASA oral histories, and declassified CIA documents on the space race, Craig Nelson re-creates a vivid and detailed account of the Apollo 11 mission. From the quotidian to the scientific to the magical, readers are taken right into the cockpit with Aldrin and Armstrong and behind the scenes at Mission Control.
Rocket Men is the story of a twentieth-century pilgrimage; a voyage into the unknown motivated by politics, faith, science, and wonder that changed the course of history.