City in the Sky: The Rise and Fall of the World Trade Center

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9780805076912: City in the Sky: The Rise and Fall of the World Trade Center

"A fascinating story . . . Those who delighted in Caro's Power Broker will relish City in the Sky."
-Thomas Bender, The New York Times Book Review

The World Trade Center was the biggest and brashest icon that New York has ever produced-a pair of magnificent giants that became intimately familiar around the globe.

In this vivid, brilliantly researched narrative, New York Times reporters James Glanz and Eric Lipton re-create the life of the World Trade Center from its genesis in David Rockefeller's ambition to rebuild lower Manhattan to the spirited battles with local storeowners and powerful politicians who opposed it, to the bold structural engineering innovations that would later determine who lived and died in its collapse. And like David McCullough's The Great Bridge, City in the Sky is a riveting story of New York itself- of architectural daring, political maneuvering, human ambition and frailty, and a lost American icon.

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About the Author:

James Glanz is a science reporter for The New York Times and has a doctorate in physics from Princeton University.

Eric Lipton is a metropolitan reporter for the Times and the winner of a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism in 1992. Since September 11, 2001, they have investigated the attack on the World Trade Center and the aftermath. They both live in New York City.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

From City in the Sky:

The phone rang at 7 a.m. in the four-story, red-brick townhouse on East 65th Street where David Rockefeller was just finishing up his breakfast before his commute to work. Rockefeller, the youngest grandson of America's first billionaire, took a certain patrician pride in riding the Lexington Avenue subway downtown to his office at Chase National Bank, his newspaper folded lengthwise so that he could read it in the morning crush, just like everyone else. But on this day in February 1955 Rockefeller would make his commute in the back of a gray Cadillac limousine whose license plates read, very simply, WZ. Those were the initials of William Zeckendorf, the eccentric but brilliant real estate mogul and family friend who had phoned to say he had an idea that just couldn't wait. "I'll pick you up," Zeckendorf blurted to Rockefeller.

Rockefeller, who had just been appointed executive vice president for planning and development at the bank, was used to such outbursts from Zeckendorf, a bald, moon-faced man some people liked to call the P. T. Barnum of real estate. Now Zeckendorf was working out a sure-fire deal for building a giant new headquarters for Chase National Bank. His plan was so complicated that he did not want to describe it on the phone. He wanted Rockefeller to himself during the limousine ride downtown. This was going to be one hell of a deal.

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