Michael Tomasky reviews William Langewiesche’s American Ground: Unbuilding the World Trade Center in the New York Review of Books. Langewiesche was the only journalist to be allowed access to Ground Zero for the whole of the cleanup process, conducted by the City’s previously obscure Department of Design and Construction, so this is a book about inventiveness and public service rather than epic heroism and sacrifice.
Maira Kalman’s Fireboat is a kids’ picture book about the New York City fireboat John J. Harvey, brought out of retirement to fight the fires at Ground Zero on 9/11. It’s beautifully made and very moving (we’ve all been sobbing round here). Maira Kalman is a designer/illustrator and generally super-creative person. For thirty years she was wife and business partner to the legendary Tibor Kalman who died in 1999.