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Extended Audio Sample Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters Audiobook, by Chesley B. Sullenberger Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Chesley B. Sullenberger, Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger, Jeffrey Zaslow Narrator: Chesley B. Sullenberger, Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger, Michael McConnohie Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2009 ISBN: 9780061967108
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In this inspirational autobiography, Captain "Sully" Sullenberger tells his life story and talks about the essential qualities that he believes have been so vital to his success.

In January 2009, the world witnessed one of the most remarkable emergency landings in history when Captain Sullenberger brought a crippled US Airways flight onto the Hudson River, saving the lives of all of the passengers and crew aboard. The successful outcome was the result of effective teamwork, Sully's dedication to airline safety, his belief that a pilot's judgment must go hand in hand with technology, and forty years of careful training.

Sully describes the experiences that have helped make him a better leader, particularly the importance of taking responsibility for everyone in his care. And he talks about what he believes is at the heart of America's "can do" spirit: the very human drive to prepare for the unexpected and to meet it with optimism and courage. Highest Duty reminds us that cultivating seemingly ordinary virtues can prepare us to perform extraordinary acts.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “It’s no big surprise that Sullenberger’s book—a gripping and genuinely heartwarming account of the splashdown—manages to portray everyone involved as more heroic than himself...Sullenberger’s account of Flight 1549 is a Capra-esque ode to American competence and decency...The book includes details that add a compelling new dimension to the tale.”

    New York Daily News

  • “Sullenberger’s account of gliding his crippled jetliner down safely onto the Hudson River is a wingdinger...The tone is gently folksy first-person...Sullenberger comes across as an honorable, courageous man.” 

    Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • “Sullenberger’s all-American life story is so compelling that it screams to be required reading for all young people, or anybody else who needs confirmation that courage, dignity, and extraordinary competence can still be found in this land...[A] remarkable life story.”

    Washington Times

  • “An interesting and eye-opening read.”


  • “Dramatic [and] inspirational.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • This inspiring book tells the story of US Airways pilot Captain ‘Sully’ Sullenberger. Listeners hear not just of his emergency landing on the Hudson but of the life events that prepared him for that moment...Michael McConnohie’s steady, matter-of-fact narration is very much in keeping with Sully’s own character. McConnohie captures the author’s refreshingly modest tone as he conveys his life story.”


  • “This memoir-drama imparts insights about the piloting professional as it enthralls readers with its exultant plotline of disaster averted.”


  • “This is exactly the kind of book you would expect the now-legendary Sully Sullenberger to write. In his memoir, the pilot of US Airways Flight 1549, which set down so memorably on the Hudson River in January, is earnest, controlled and exacting. Sullenberger is not prone to flights of fancy—in fact, he is the very pilot you’d choose for the job if you had any say in it. His book reflects the same qualities.”


  • “Valuable for anyone interested in how a life lived with integrity prepares a man for the ultimate challenge.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
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About the Author
Author Chesley B. Sullenberger

Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger III is a retired airline pilot, speaker, and consultant who has become a source of inspiration for many after his successful emergency water landing of a disabled airliner on the Hudson River. He graduated from the US Air Force Academy and holds two master’s degrees and an honorary doctorate of letters from Purdue University. He has testified before Congress about aviation safety and the state of the airline piloting profession. He serves as the CBS News aviation and safety expert, is the founder of Safety Reliability Methods, Inc., a management, safety, and performance consulting company, and was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People. He lives with his family in Danville, California.

About the Narrator

Michael McConnohie has appeared in soap operas, cartoons, prime-time television, and on stage. His audiobook readings have ranged from true crime to history, biography, science, self-help, and poetry. He has seen much of the world as a supervisor of foreign versions of major American films and has written and directed English versions of many prominent foreign films. He believes that a good book is a friend you can visit over and over again and always enjoy the conversation.