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Editorial Reviews

This inspiring book tells the story of U.S. Airways pilot Captain "Sully" Sullenberger. Listeners hear not just of his emergency landing on the Hudson but of the life events that prepared him for that moment. As the author himself says, "My entire life led me safely to that river." Michael McConnohie's steady, matter-of-fact narration is very much in keeping with Sully's own character. McConnohie captures the author's refreshingly modest tone as he conveys his life story. Anecdotes about how he learned to fly as a teen, his years in the Air Force, his life as husband and father all build to create a sense of the qualities - hard work, perseverance, passion - that equipped Sully for his calmly heroic act.

Publisher's Summary

In this inspirational autobiography, Captain "Sully" Sullenberger, the airline pilot whose emergency landing on the Hudson River earned the world's admiration, tells his life story and talks about the essential qualities that he believes have been so vital to his success.

In January 2009 the world witnessed one of the most remarkable emergency landings in history when Captain Sullenberger brought a crippled US Airways flight onto the Hudson River, saving the lives of all of the passengers and crew aboard. The successful outcome was the result of effective teamwork, Sully's dedication to airline safety, his belief that a pilot's judgment must go hand-in-hand with - and can never be replaced by - technology, and 40 years of careful practice and training.

From his earliest memories of learning to fly as a teenager in a crop duster's single-engine plane in the skies above rural Texas to his years in the United States Air Force at the controls of a powerful F-4 Phantom, Sully describes the experiences that have helped make him a better leader, particularly the importance of taking responsibility for everyone in his care. And he talks about what he believes is at the heart of America's "can do" spirit: the very human drive to prepare for the unexpected and to meet it with optimism and courage.

His wife, Lorrie, has been a pillar of support through all the highs and lows that life has offered, from the challenges of commercial flying to the birth of their two daughters, from financial struggles to the event of January 15, 2009. Though the world may remember Sully as the hero of Flight 1549, the legacy he desires even more is that of a loving husband and father.

Highest Duty is the intimate story of a man who has grown up to embrace what we think of as quintessential American values: leadership, responsibility, commitment to hard work, and service to others. And it is a narrative that reminds us that cultivating seemingly ordinary virtues can prepare us to....

Please note: This title has also been released as Sully: My Search for What Really Matters.

©2009 Chesley Sullenberger III; (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Robert
  • pleasanton, CA, United States
  • 11-21-09

A life time of preperation

Captain Sullenberger prepared his whole flying career, as a teenager in Texas, to the Airforce Academy, and as a Commercial Airline Pilot for US Airways for the landing on the Hudson. Scully give us an insite into his life as an aviator, who's everyday life is very much like any of ours with the same daily challenges. How he handle a potential disaster of Flight 1547 and how his life was changed for not only him, but his family and crew was a very interesting and pleasant read. Ordinary people doing extronary things.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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fantastic

for a lifelong aviation enthusiast, absolutely fantastic, powerful and moving. didnt want this book to end.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Daniel
  • Murrayville, GA, United States
  • 12-12-11

Highest Duty

What did you love best about Highest Duty?

Well told story.

What did you like best about this story?

Written by someone who knows aviation.

What about Michael McConnohie and Chesley B. Sullenberger ’s performance did you like?

Very well done.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

sure, if one only had time.

Any additional comments?

As a retired US Airways pilot myself,having flown that aircraft and airport many times, appreciated the story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • MG
  • Albuquerque, NM, United States
  • 05-23-10

An ordinary life turned quite exciting

Much of this book could be any reader's story. Growing up middle class, family projects and trips, dating, marraige, children, a hobby, and a job. However, Capt. Sully earned the right to share his story with us after doing something most readers would not be able to do: stay calm and save 150 lives when tragedy struck. His first officer's role cannot be underestimated. This is a coaching manual for anyone working on teams who seek excellence.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Highest Duty - Much Different from the Movie

I read this book since I planned to see the movie. I did not see the movie but read the Wikipedia synopsis. Based on the two, I did not see the movie. This book is much different from the movie which centers on the accident and the aftermath. This book covers Sullenberger's life in aviation and later in aviation safety. There is little discussion on the investigation which apparently dominates the movie. The book is critical of the airline industry's cost saving measures and the pay scales; both which I have some empathy with Captain Sullenberger but at the same time realize he lived at the end of the "Golden Age of Commercial Aviation". I recommend reading this book but it is not a top priority. It does show how his and the crew's meticulous attention to detail and dedication that led to the "Miracle on the Hudson". It could have gone the usual way easily ... all passengers, crew and aircraft lost.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Sully, the Highly Respectful Hero

You are the real hero! I came to know that the marvelous miracle had not just happened by chance. You have been prepared well in advance through your study, practice and with thoughtfulness. I love the 'preparedness', paying my sincere respect and thanks.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

just a good interesting book.

my husband and I both enjoyed it on our way to Florida in the car in September for my birthday

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Riveting story full of valuable life lessons

Polished narration of a story that still inspires each of us to be all that we can be. The lessons are about setting priorities, being an expert at your craft, and reflecting upon a life well lived. Children and teenagers can learn from this true story as well as adults.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Awesome

Loved it heard the story had to listen sully did great job telling his story

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • TG
  • 10-19-17

A lesson on life wrapped around Flight 1459

This is a story about the circumstances that lead to the successful flight 1549. It goes back all the way to Sully's first solo, and documents all of the things that equipped him to deal with those critical 200 seconds.

Sully reads the final two chapters. It makes listening to the book worthwhile if it were not as excellent as it was.

The book also provides insights into what happened after flight 1548 - and how his family has dealt with it. I had no idea of these things.

Read it - you will learn to appreciate life itself a little more.

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  • Adam Webb
  • 07-10-17

Stunning and inspiring book

This goes down as perhaps my favourite book thus far. The narrator is excellent. The story is amazing. The life story and development of Sully is spelled out beautifully. Everything in his life was leading to that one moment. I found the story so very inspiring and hopeful. There are some great lessons to live ones life by in this book.

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  • Markus
  • 12-08-16

Great autobyography

The story and details of the event, comprehensive and capturing also for non aviation experienced listeners.