Garrett M. Graff
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About Garrett M. Graff
Garrett M. Graff, a distinguished magazine journalist, bestselling historian, and regular TV commentator, has spent more than a dozen years covering politics, technology, and national security—helping to explain where we’ve been and where we’re headed.
Today, he serves as the director of the Aspen Institute’s cybersecurity and technology program, and is a contributor to WIRED, Longreads, and CNN. He’s written for publications from Esquire to the New York Times, and served as the editor of two of Washington’s most prestigious magazines, Washingtonian and POLITICO Magazine, which he helped lead to its first National Magazine Award, the industry’s highest honor.
Graff is the author of multiple books, including "The First Campaign: Globalization, the Web, and the Race for the White House," which examined the role of technology in the 2008 presidential race, and "The Threat Matrix: Inside Robert Mueller’s FBI," which traces the history of the FBI’s counterterrorism efforts. His book, "Raven Rock," a national bestseller, about the government’s Cold War Doomsday plans, was published in May 2017, and his most recent book, co-authored with John Carlin, examined the rise of cyber threats, "Dawn of the Code War: America's Battle Against Russia, China, and the Rising Global Cyber Threat."
Previously, he was the founding editor of mediaBistro.com’s FishbowlDC (www.FishbowlDC.com), a popular blog that covers the media and journalism in Washington, and co-founder of EchoDitto, Inc., a multi-million-dollar Washington, D.C.-based internet strategy consulting firm. During his time at FishbowlDC, he was the first blogger admitted to cover a White House press briefing in 2005, a moment considered significant enough that his reporter’s notebook from that first briefing is on display at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. A Vermont native, he served as deputy national press secretary on Howard Dean’s presidential campaign and, beginning in 1997, was then-Governor Dean’s first webmaster.
He taught at Georgetown University for seven years, including courses on journalism and technology, and his writing and commentary has appeared in publications like the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, New York, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Rolling Stone, 5280, Politico, AARP Magazine, Eater, Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine, USA Today, GQ UK, NextCity, and he has appeared on CBS This Morning, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBC, the BBC, Al Jazeera English, the History Channel, National Geographic, and various NPR programs, including “This American Life,” “Fresh Air,” and “All Things Considered.”
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Books By Garrett M. Graff
“This is history at its most immediate and moving…A marvelous and memorable book.” —Jon Meacham
“Remarkable…A priceless civic gift…On page after page, a reader will encounter words that startle, or make him angry, or heartbroken.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Had me turning each page with my heart in my throat…There’s been a lot written about 9/11, but nothing like this. I urge you to read it.” —Katie Couric
The first comprehensive oral history of September 11, 2001—a panoramic narrative woven from voices on the front lines of an unprecedented national trauma.
Over the past eighteen years, monumental literature has been published about 9/11, from Lawrence Wright’s The Looming Tower to The 9/11 Commission Report. But one perspective has been missing up to this point—a 360-degree account of the day told through firsthand.
Now, in The Only Plane in the Sky, Garrett Graff tells the story of the day as it was lived—in the words of those who lived it. Drawing on never-before-published transcripts, declassified documents, original interviews, and oral histories from nearly five hundred government officials, first responders, witnesses, survivors, friends, and family members, he paints the most vivid and human portrait of the September 11 attacks yet.
Beginning in the predawn hours of airports in the Northeast, we meet the ticket agents who unknowingly usher terrorists onto their flights, and the flight attendants inside the hijacked planes. In New York, first responders confront a scene of unimaginable horror at the Twin Towers. From a secret bunker under the White House, officials watch for incoming planes on radar. Aboard unarmed fighter jets in the air, pilots make a pact to fly into a hijacked airliner if necessary to bring it down. In the skies above Pennsylvania, civilians aboard United 93 make the ultimate sacrifice in their place. Then, as the day moves forward and flights are grounded nationwide, Air Force One circles the country alone, its passengers isolated and afraid.
More than simply a collection of eyewitness testimonies, The Only Plane in the Sky is the historic narrative of how ordinary people grappled with extraordinary events in real time: the father and son caught on different ends of the impact zone; the firefighter searching for his wife who works at the World Trade Center; the operator of in-flight telephone calls who promises to share a passenger’s last words with his family; the beloved FDNY chaplain who bravely performs last rites for the dying, losing his own life when the Towers collapse; and the generals at the Pentagon who break down and weep when they are barred from trying to rescue their colleagues.
At once a powerful tribute to the courage of everyday Americans and an essential addition to the literature of 9/11, The Only Plane in the Sky weaves together the unforgettable personal experiences of the men and women who found themselves caught at the center of an unprecedented human drama. The result is a unique, profound, and searing exploration of humanity on a day that changed the course of history, and all of our lives.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * “Do we need still another Watergate book? The answer turns out to be yes—this one.” —The Washington Post * “Dazzling.” —The New York Times Book Review
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Only Plane in the Sky, comes the first definitive narrative history of Watergate—“the best and fullest account of the crisis, one unlikely to be surpassed anytime soon” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)—exploring the full scope of the scandal through the politicians, investigators, journalists, and informants who made it the most influential political event of the modern era.
In the early hours of June 17, 1972, a security guard named Frank Wills enters six words into the log book of the Watergate office complex that will change the course of history: 1:47 AM Found tape on doors; call police.
The subsequent arrests of five men seeking to bug and burgle the Democratic National Committee offices—three of them Cuban exiles, two of them former intelligence operatives—quickly unravels a web of scandal that ultimately ends a presidency and forever alters views of moral authority and leadership. Watergate, as the event is called, becomes a shorthand for corruption, deceit, and unanswered questions.
Now, award-winning journalist and bestselling author Garrett M. Graff explores the full scope of this unprecedented moment from start to finish, in the first comprehensive, single-volume account in decades.
The story begins in 1971, with the publication of thousands of military and government documents known as the Pentagon Papers, which reveal dishonesty about the decades-long American presence in Vietnam and spark public outrage. Furious that the leak might expose his administration’s own duplicity during a crucial reelection season, President Richard M. Nixon gathers his closest advisors and gives them implicit instructions: Win by any means necessary.
Within a few months, an unsteady line of political dominoes are positioned, from the creation of a series of covert operations code-named GEMSTONE to campaign-trail dirty tricks, possible hostage situations, and questionable fundraising efforts—much of it caught on the White House’s own taping system. One by one they fall, until the thwarted June burglary attracts the attention of intrepid journalists, congressional investigators, and embattled intelligence officers, one of whom will spend decades concealing his identity behind the alias “Deep Throat.” As each faction slowly begins to uncover the truth, a conspiracy deeper and more corrupt than anyone thought possible emerges, and the nation is thrown into a state of crisis as its government—and its leader—unravels.
Using newly public documents, transcripts, and revelations, Graff recounts every twist with remarkable detail and page-turning drama, bringing readers into the backrooms of Washington, chaotic daily newsrooms, crowded Senate hearings, and even the Oval Office itself during one of the darkest chapters in American history.
Grippingly told and meticulously researched, Watergate is the defining account of the moment that has haunted our nation’s past—and still holds the power to shape its present and future.
Covering more than 30 years of history, from the 1980s through Obama's presidency, The Threat Matrix explores the transformation of the FBI from a domestic law enforcement agency, handling bank robberies and local crimes, into an international intelligence agency--with more than 500 agents operating in more than 60 countries overseas--fighting extremist terrorism, cyber crimes, and, for the first time, American suicide bombers.
Based on access to never-before-seen task forces and FBI bases from Budapest, Hungary, to Quantico, Virginia, this book profiles the visionary agents who risked their lives to bring down criminals and terrorists both here in the U.S. and thousands of miles away long before the rest of the country was paying attention to terrorism. Given unprecedented access, thousands of pages of once secret documents, and hundreds of interviews, Garrett M. Graff takes us inside the FBI and its attempt to protect America from the Munich Olympics in 1972 to the attempted Times Square bombing in 2010. It also tells the inside story of the FBI's behind-the-scenes fights with the CIA, the Department of Justice, and five White Houses over how to combat terrorism, balance civil liberties, and preserve security. The book also offers a never-before-seen intimate look at FBI Director Robert Mueller, the most important director since Hoover himself.
Brilliantly reported and suspensefully told, The Threat Matrix peers into the darkest corners of this secret war and will change your view of the FBI forever.
From the post-war Project Blue Book to the Pentagon’s modern-day Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, bestselling author and historian Garrett M. Graff presents the first serious narrative history of humanity’s hunt for alien life—including the military and CIA’s secret, decades-long quest to study UFOs.
A thrilling story of science, the Cold War, Nazi research, atomic anxieties, secret spy planes, and the space race, UFO traces the real-life history of the U.S. government’s hunt for “unidentified aerial phenomena” here on Earth, from Roswell to Rendlesham Forest, as well as the story of the small group of forward-thinking scientists—astronomers like J. Allen Hynek, Frank Drake, Carl Sagan, and Jill Tarter—who launched the search for extraterrestrial intelligence far from Earth. Drawing on original archival research, declassified documents, and interviews with senior intelligence and military officials, Graff's book traces the long history of our quest to understand one of the most profound and popular questions of all time: whether or not aliens exist.
The 1,190-mile journey from Dallas to Washington on November 22, 1963, stands as the most famous Air Force One flight of all time. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson boarded the plane in secrecy, with few in the world aware that President Kennedy was dead, and then after taking the presidential oath, Johnson had 132 minutes to assemble his thoughts and a government before landing at Andrews Air Force Base and presenting himself to the cameras as the new leader of the free world.
While there are many individual recollections of the flight, there exist few comprehensive reconstructions of all that unfolded on the plane. Graff's account of the flight—based on dozens of accounts of those on board plus more than 500 pages of archive documents as well as a recently discovered two-hour-and-22-minute audio recording of Air Force One’s radio traffic with Andrews on the day of the assassination—reveals that even amid one of the most dramatic presidential transitions in history there arose very human moments of envy, anger, bewilderment, and courage, as those aboard endured what would be for all of them the most difficult hours of their lives.
The shocking truth about the government’s secret plans to survive a catastrophic attack on US soil—even if the rest of us die—is “a frightening eye-opener” (Kirkus Reviews) that spans the dawn of the nuclear age to today, and "contains everything one could possibly want to know" (The Wall Street Journal).
Every day in Washington, DC, the blue-and-gold first Helicopter Squadron, codenamed “MUSSEL,” flies over the Potomac River. As obvious as the Presidential motorcade, most people assume the squadron is a travel perk for VIPs. They’re only half right: while the helicopters do provide transport, the unit exists to evacuate high-ranking officials in the event of a terrorist or nuclear attack on the capital. In the event of an attack, select officials would be whisked by helicopters to a ring of secret bunkers around Washington, even as ordinary citizens were left to fend for themselves.
“In exploring the incredible lengths (and depths) that successive administrations have gone to in planning for the aftermath of a nuclear assault, Graff deftly weaves a tale of secrecy and paranoia” (The New York Times Book Review) with details "that read like they've been ripped from the pages of a pulp spy novel" (Vice). For more than sixty years, the US government has been developing secret Doomsday strategies to protect itself, and the multibillion-dollar Continuity of Government (COG) program takes numerous forms—from its potential to evacuate the Liberty Bell from Philadelphia to the plans to launch nuclear missiles from a Boeing-747 jet flying high over Nebraska. Garrett M. Graff sheds light on the inner workings of the 650-acre compound, called Raven Rock, just miles from Camp David, as well as dozens of other bunkers the government built for its top leaders during the Cold War, from the White House lawn to Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado to Palm Beach, Florida, and the secret plans that would have kicked in after a Cold War nuclear attack to round up foreigners and dissidents and nationalize industries. Equal parts a presidential, military, and cultural history, Raven Rock tracks the evolution of the government plan and the threats of global war from the dawn of the nuclear era through the War on Terror.
11 septembre 2001, États-Unis. Quatre avions disparaissent des radars.
À leur bord, des pirates de l'air s'apprêtent à commettre l'attentat le plus meurtrier jamais perpétré sur le sol américain. Entre 8 et 10 heures du matin, le monde entier suit la tragédie en direct à la télévision. Les images des avions s'écrasant sur le World Trade Center et le Pentagone marquent toute une génération.
Les tours jumelles s'effondrent en 102 minutes à peine. L'incendie s'éteindra 100 jours plus tard. Pour les États-Unis, c'est le début d'une guerre de 20 ans.
L'historien Garrett M. Graff fait oeuvre de mémoire. Grâce à plus de 500 témoignages sélectionnés parmi des milliers de transcriptions et d'enregistrements, le 11 septembre est raconté en direct, minute par minute, par ceux qui l'ont vécu.
Dans ce témoignage collectif exceptionnel se répondent les voix des pompiers, des occupants des tours, des passagers des avions détournés, des contrôleurs aériens et de l'entourage du président Bush.
UNE EXPÉRIENCE DE LECTURE IMMERSIVE ET BOULEVERSANTE