After the Fall

New Yorkers Remember September 2001 and the Years That Followed

An unprecedented cross-section of New Yorkers—interviewed at intervals since 9/11—tell the story of the Trade Center attack and how it changed their lives

“The land we travel through in this book is New York City in the aftermath—both immediate and long term—of the spectacular attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001.” —from the introduction to After the Fall

Published to mark the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, After the Fall is a landmark oral history drawn from the celebrated collection of 9/11 interviews at Columbia University.

Within days of 9/11, Columbia’s Oral History Research Office deployed interviewers across the city to begin collecting the accounts and observations of hundreds of people from a diverse mix of New York neighborhoods and backgrounds. Over subsequent months and years, follow-up interviews produced a deep and revealing look at how the attacks changed individual lives and communities in New York City.

After the Fall presents a selection of these fascinating testimonies, with heartbreaking and enlightening stories from a broad range of New Yorkers. The interviews include first-responders, taxi drivers, school teachers, artists, religious leaders, immigrants, and others who were interviewed at intervals since the 2001 attacks. The result is a remarkable time-lapse account of the city as it changed in the wake of 9/11, one that will resonate powerfully with New Yorkers and millions of others who continue to feel the impact of the most damaging attack on American soil in history.

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