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From Memory to Memorial: Shanksville, America, and Flight 93 Paperback – Feb 15 2017

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Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press (Feb. 15 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0271076992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0271076997
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.4 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,425,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


“Thompson describes how heroic columns and figures for the final Memorial Plaza were rejected in favor of abstract minimalism, providing insight into human psychology, public controversy, theory of memory, the role of media, and national politics. Should be widely read by the public, scholars, and professionals for its scholarship and sensitive insights into a current issue. Summing Up: Essential.”

—B. Osborne, Choice

“Thoughtful and exceptionally well-written.”

—Kenneth E. Foote, Pennsylvania Heritage

“Thompson includes intimate and emotional details of individuals with diverse, and sometimes opposing, perspectives. This, along with Thompson’s skill as a writer, results in engaging literary quality. This significant strength allows Thompson to represent opposing opinions—about the politics raised by various memorialization activities, for instance—without flattening the narrative into a simple debate between local and national interests, partisan politics, or elite and unsophisticated aesthetics.”

—Sarah Dziedzic, The Public Historian

“Thompson raises and thoughtfully examines some of the central questions about public memory—and he does so with an example that has been relatively neglected, even seventeen years after the disaster. Therefore, this book makes an engaging and fresh contribution to ongoing discussions of memorialization, in general, as well as with specific regard to the events of September 11th.”

—Carolyn Kitch, H-Penn

“Can serve as a historic overview of the process of building such a monument, with some useful orientation about the site and area for people who choose to visit the memorial.”

—Al Holliday, Pennsylvania Magazine

“Weaving factual details with oral histories, Thompson traces the commemoration of United Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, from the bluntly patriotic temporary memorial erected on the site immediately following the crash of the hijacked plane on 9/11 to the sober minimalism of the Flight 93 National Memorial, dedicated in 2011. Engaging, informative, and heartfelt, From Memory to Memorial especially explores how, and why, contemporary Americans make mass tragedies memorable in public space.”

—Erika Doss, author of Memorial Mania

“Bill Thompson’s thorough analysis of the oral histories surrounding the downing of United Flight 93 in Somerset County results in a poignant, compelling, and engrossing account that answers the question: what happens next in an ordinary place where nothing will ever be quite normal again?”

—Frederick R. Steiner, coauthor of Human Ecology: How Nature and Culture Shape Our World

“A smart and moving account of the tragedy of Flight 93 and its effect on the families, the community of Shanksville, and our collective memories of 9/11. Thompson’s book will forever change your understanding of national grief and the memorials we erect to honor our dead.”

—Mark Harris, author of Grave Matters: A Journey Through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial

About the Author

J. William Thompson is the former editor of Landscape Architecture magazine and the author of The Rebirth of New York City’s Bryant Park and Sustainable Landscape Construction.

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Most helpful customer reviews on 5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
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5.0 out of 5 starsA unique and wonderful story of our times as American
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