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  • Ordinary Heroes

  • A Memoir of 9/11
  • By: Joseph Pfeifer
  • Narrated by: Fred Sanders
  • Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (322 ratings)

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Ordinary Heroes

By: Joseph Pfeifer
Narrated by: Fred Sanders
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Publisher's summary

New York Times best seller

From the first FDNY chief to respond to the 9/11 attacks, an intimate memoir and a tribute to those who died that others might live

When Chief Joe Pfeifer led his firefighters to investigate an odor of gas in downtown Manhattan on the morning of 9/11, he had no idea that his life was about to change forever. A few moments later, he watched as the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center. Pfeifer, the closest FDNY chief to the scene, spearheaded rescue efforts on one of the darkest days in American history.

Ordinary Heroes is the unforgettable and intimate account of what Chief Pfeifer witnessed at Ground Zero, on that day and the days that followed. Through his eyes, we see the horror of the attack and the courage of the firefighters who ran into the burning towers to save others. We see him send his own brother up the stairs of the North Tower, never to return. And we walk with him and his fellow firefighters through weeks of rescue efforts and months of numbing grief, as they wrestle with the real meaning of heroism and leadership.

This gripping narrative gives way to resiliency and a determination that permanently reshapes Pfeifer, his fellow firefighters, NYC, and America. Ordinary Heroes takes us on a journey that turns traumatic memories into hope, so we can make good on our promise to never forget 9/11.

©2021 Joseph Pfeifer (P)2021 Penguin Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic reviews

Ordinary Heroes is clear-eyed, spellbinding, extraordinary.” (Vanity Fair)

"Pfeifer’s record of that day and its aftermath surely enters the canon as one of the necessary documents of 9/11. But it’s his inclusive sense of public service, one that values the heroism of those who do ordinary things in extraordinary times, that makes Ordinary Heroes a book for today. (The New York Times)

"With great humility, Chief Pfeifer has crafted a moving story of how the FDNY was anything but ordinary in the aftermath of the worst terrorist attack this country has ever seen. An incredible picture of the resilience, humor, and heart of New York’s bravest." (Jon Stewart)

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