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Last Man Down: The Fireman's Story: The Heroic Account of How Pitch Picciotto Survived the Collapse of the Twin Towers and Led His Men to Safety [Paperback]

FDNY Battalion Commander Richard 'Pitch' Picciotto
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

Mar 2003

On September 11th, Battalion Commander Richard 'Pitch' Picciotto was the highest ranking fire department commander in the twin towers when the North Tower fell. Pitch and his men were on the 17th floor racing upward when the world seemed to explode around them.

From his intimate knowledge of the Towers gained during service after the 1993 WTC bombing Pitch was able to lead the firefighters to an alternative stairwell to floor 12 where they were met with a horrifying sight - more than 50 workers too crippled, too old, or too weak to have made their way out on their own. Pitch ordered his firefighters to form a human chain and pushed and cajoled them down the stairs. They were in the 7th floor stairwell when the tower fell, and Pitch and a handful of survivors woke to find themselves buried on the landing of floor 2. This is the story of how Pitch Picciotto led his men and the survivors to safety.

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Last Man Down: The Fireman's Story: The Heroic Account of How Pitch Picciotto Survived the Collapse of the Twin Towers and Led His Men to Safety + 102 Minutes + 102 Minutes That Changed America [DVD] [2008]
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  • 102 Minutes That Changed America [DVD] [2008] 6.99

Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; New Ed edition (Mar 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752849417
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752849416
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 114,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


INTERVIEWS: R2 STEVE WRIGHT SHOW will be interviewing Pitch in New York on Friday 21 February - ** this was cancelled as Pitch had to attended a funeral** REVIEWS: 'This book is no literary masterpiece but its strength lies in itsraw edges, the realism of the language and the honesty of the opinions'BIRMINGHAM SUNDAY MERCURY 'This is a harrowing, personal account that sharply brings into deadening focus the terrible events of that day in late summer'WORCESTER EVE NEWS 'Picciotto's moment-by-moment description of events are a lasting tribute to the 343 fallen fire fighters who died on 11 September 2001'JACK O

Book Description

The No. 1 bestselling true story of Battalion Commander Richard Picciotto who, on 11 September, survived the collapse of the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The horse's mouth 10 Sep 2002
Ghostwritten I'm sure, but allowing the down-to-earth FDNY man to speak in his own voice, this is a direct, raw, emotional work which takes the reader right into the heart of the WTC disaster. Richard Picciotto was one of the last men to emerge alive from the rubble of WTC 1, as he and his crew, and a civilian they rescued, were trapped within the only staircase not to collapse completely. This is the story of how they came to be in there - and how they got out again.
As another reviewer said, 'Literature this ain't'; the fireman's voice is blunt and rough and spares no-one in his assessment of how lack of funding to the fire department contributed to the loss of life; he obviously has his own personal beef here which frequently comes across. But he tells the truth as he saw and sees it; and the sense of what it was like to be there and to do that job is far more vivid than could be obtained from a more considered and more 'literary' work.
Highly recommended.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
This book is a wonderful tribute to all those who lost their lives in the twin towers on that horrific day in September. I could not put it down - wanting to know what happened next and wishing that I could shorten the suffering these people went through before their final escape. Richard Picciotto's account of what it was like to be inside the North Tower on that morning is frighteningly real - written in a down-to-earth style that enables you to relate so easily and only begin to imagine his pain. This book further exposes not only the pain and horror of those events, but also the true bravery and an ultimate strength to remain optimistic at the hardest of times.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtakingly Emotional 16 April 2002
This book is a tribute to all the men and women who risk their lives every day to save others. A truly emotional book which questions "If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound? then if you survive a disaster but nobody hears your cries, do you really survive?" In 10-20 years time I believe that this book will become a film for all to see but the truth and pain will be distorted. There was no bonding huddle with survivors under the rubble, no talk of family and friends on the outside, simply silence.... A must read for all who doubt that there are some good people in the world. God bless the emergency services and every person who loved and lost a life on September 11th.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The things you didn't know about September 11th 24 Mar 2002
This book tells you what 'really' happened on the fateful day of September 11th. Being an outsider as you could put it, you don't really have a clue what happened inside the World Trade Centres on that day, this fireman's story tells you of the bravery and courage that these people did to try their best to save others. Its put over so realistically that you can almost fully imagine what the poor souls were going through on this tragic day.
This is a book which once you start you can't put it down until its finished.
Definately a must!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW 5 Feb 2004
Absolutely excellent book which relives the horrific memories of September 11th. As we all know this was a tragic event and many of us watched the events unfold on the TV, you can actually feel what it was like to be in the twin towers. Brilliant book, excellently written and a treasure to keep as a piece of history.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars last man down the fireman's story 12 Mar 2003
If you are interested to know in depth how the firemen work in the US, then you will find this book very informative as it contains a lot of information about how they work and the ranking. It is a book to tell what happened to those firemen trapped under the rubbles of the World Trade Centre after it collapsed rather than telling us what they did to help get the people out of the building before it collapsed. I think the lack of body of this book is due to the fact that chief Pitch was trapped so could not have known what was going on with the outside world hence there was not much he could tell except himself. Especially with no conversation with the other trapped firemen, he could only speak for himself. As a result the book is more like a book to boost his reputation as he consistently commenting how good and how cool he was. The title of the book was good, only that the story was not up to the scratch.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading 8 May 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Literature this is not .Thankfully.The ghost writer remains well hidden under the New York chat .This is a book I bought not only for my own interest but to hand on to my son who was almost 8 when the two towers went down . Exactly ten days before his own grandfather died too .It explores professionalism , grief ,control and human nature in the face of true horror.
Ultimately , though it IS optimistic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing special 19 Aug 2006
I have had this book for a few years but have not been able to read it till recently.The story is quite interesting and astonishing (especially as it is a true story) but the writing is somewhat repetetive - I think this is done to make the story longer - and the Firefighter seems to be too full of himself always going on how great he is and how well he did what a good leader he is ...... and so on.Entertaining and interesting but the way the story is written spoils it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars My opinion
This the third copy of this book that I have bought.
One for me
One for my son who is a Fireman with the West Midlands Service. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Pat Janes
2.0 out of 5 stars Bullhorn
I would have thought an account of being trapped inside one of the collapsed towers of the World Trade Centre would have practically written itself, but somehow Richard Picciotto... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Guv
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic book
this book is amazing a honest account of what he went through during 911 ...a must read..i couldnt put it down
Published 10 months ago by GILLY DAVEY
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Touching
This man is a true hero. To risk your life to save a group of disabled people trapped and waiting to die in an office is beyond admirable. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Mrs. Sharon L. Lawson
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
This is a truly amazing story. How anybody could survive having been inside one of the Twin Towers when it collapsed is totally extraordinary and therefore well worth reading. Read more
Published on 1 Jan 2012 by Mr Gordon Davidson
4.0 out of 5 stars Last Man Down
Battalion Commander Richard 'Pitch' Picciotto describes entering the World Trade Center's North Tower as part of a rescue attempt, only to experience the tower's collapse and find... Read more
Published on 6 Dec 2011 by Dave Gilmour's cat
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant from The Man on the Frontline
A brilliant and frightening account from one of those on the frontline who was running in as others ran out as is the nature and calling of his job. Read more
Published on 15 Oct 2011 by Chris, Renfrewshire
2.0 out of 5 stars The Fireman's conceited and revels in the glory
I liked the story but couldn't take to the fireman himself - he revels in the glory of his actions.

I wish I'd never bought it because it funds the fireman in question.
Published on 3 Sep 2011 by catnap
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book deal ever
This has to be the best deal ever in terms of price, product (hardback book) and service. Thanks so much!
Published on 14 Jun 2011 by David C. L. Blake
1.0 out of 5 stars I Question The Authors Morals
As I worked for a New York based company at that time I knew a number of colleagues who lost friends and family in the towers on that day. Read more
Published on 6 Sep 2007 by D. Mason
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