Thursday, August 25, 2011

Debacle: Failing to Rebuild the Twin Towers Is Coming

Why aren't the World Trade Center Twin Towers being rebuilt taller, stronger, and safer? Why is what pretty much everyone took for granted on September 12, 2001, not coming true? Why are iconic 110-story Towers being replaced with a bunch of shorter buildings topped by pointless spires?

Ten years after the original disaster and ten years into the disaster that is the rebuilding process, New Yorkers and out-of-towners from all walks of life come forward to tell the story of the second destruction of the World Trade Center, not at the hands of terrorists, but at the hands of politicians, builders, and activists, who sacrificed the world's most famous landmark to their own narrow interests and thus perpetuated the destruction wreaked by the terrorists.

The tales they have to tell are not pretty: stories of corruption, venality, opportunism, greed, short-term thinking, irrationality, incompetence, cowardice, and betrayal. Keeping the Twin Towers destroyed did not even require a grand conspiracy. All it took was the business as usual of New York politics. The twin behemoths of City Hall and Albany were all it took to make sure that rebuilding the icons of New York, America, and the free world was sacrificed to the personal gain and the short-term political advantage of a few politicians pandering to vocal minorities and well-connected builders.

Together, these essays mesh into a kaleidoscopic epic of how the worst of mankind was first met with the best of man, only to be thwarted by the worst of contemporary politics.

Due out September 11, 2011.

No comments: