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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (645 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.”

    Examiner.com

  • “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.”

    AudioFile

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

    Booklist

  • “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.”

    BookPage

  • “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

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Libyrinths | 2/10/2014

    " Nice book, fast read. The pilot who successfully ditched in the Hudson, saving everyone on board, tells his background, and what he feels was important in enabling him to make the decision he did, and pull it off. He also makes it clear it wasn't his glider training which aided him, which was frequently cited after the incident. He said a glider and a large commercial plane are like night and day. He stresses the values he gained from his parents and from his military service in the Air Force are what formed him. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lee | 1/13/2014

    " Surprisingly well written! I enjoyed the back and forth style of reading about Sully's life and training as a pilot mixed with accounts of what happened the day he landed the plane in the Hudson. And his writing style is engaging and easy to read--not awkward at all like some authors who are not used to writing. I also learned a tremendous amount about the commercial airline industry and flying that I never knew. I highly recommend this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lori | 1/13/2014

    " Capt. Sullenberger doesn't want to be classified as a hero, but he is! He was just doing his job, but he did so with professionalism, grace and a lifetime of practiced integrity! I was a bit surprised he never mentioned God, faith or divine help in his journey and overted disaster! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 1/9/2014

    " Learned some interesting info re airline industry that can be quite disturbing but really wanted this man to be my personal pilot for those 1 maybe 2 airplane rides that I take a year. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bill Palmer | 12/29/2013

    " Met the author personally at a book fair in DC. Got my autographed copy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherman | 12/29/2013

    " A great book about the man who brought down his plane in the Hudson River without losing one passenger. From his early days growing up in Texas and learning to fly crop dusters to flying in the military and then on to commercial flying. An interesting view of the commercial airlines of today and all their problems still to be solved. Here's to one of the greatest pilots out there....I hope I am on your next flight! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sage | 12/27/2013

    " For serious Sully fans only. I love Sully because he is a conscientious nerd. However, conscientious nerds' life stories don't make for the best books. Still, I love the Sully. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lauren | 12/7/2013

    " Highly enjoyable, highly inspirational, highly recommended. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 12/5/2013

    " I am not a Sully "fan", but the book was interesting at least. Thanks Mom! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eileen Kenah | 12/1/2013

    " Very positive and enlightening book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pam | 11/30/2013

    " Enjoyable, a little slow in parts. The chapter about flight 1549 was very tense / exciting. Sullenberger was the right guy to be in command of that plane that day. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maryanne | 9/22/2013

    " I think this is worth reading because how can one not have the highest respect for this pilot. It gets a bit technical at times, but you can't help but admire the person he is in all respects--not just his stellar flying skill. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marci | 8/9/2013

    " Good information about working in the airline industry. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tricia | 4/13/2013

    " I liked this book a lot. I thought he had insightful lessons he had learned through his life. This book wasn't all about Flight 1549. He talked about other flights, successful and not successful, and how he learned from each of them. Each obstacle in life is a lesson learned. It was well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bash | 2/23/2013

    " Fascinating view into the changing airline industry, intertwined with the story of a boy growing up in love with flying. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shirley Reaburn | 10/4/2012

    " Interesting look behind the scenes of commercial aviation, and especially the landing on the Hudson "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elke | 6/2/2012

    " He is a hero regardless of what he says in this book and I loved reading about this hero's life and experience landing the plane in the Hudson. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 5/17/2012

    " WOW. What an inspirational book. A true example of how everyone should strive to live their lives. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pam Gray | 5/8/2012

    " Barely started but know already that James and Andy will enjoy this one! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Yvonne | 5/6/2012

    " Inspiring story of this pilot and how to be very good at something. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bobbie | 2/7/2012

    " I have profound respect and admiration for Captain Sullenberger. Because of his lifetime of hard work and dedication, his clear thinking and his respect for life, a tragedy was averted that day on the Hudson. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Grace | 8/24/2011

    " Was slow reading at first, but worth the time to get to the end. Very down to earth, everyday hero! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Glenna | 6/16/2011

    " Glad I read it Interesting look at a pilot's life Also insight into Sully's thoughts as he handled the crisis of landing on the Hudson River "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary | 6/4/2011

    " all engaged people, or folks called to the married life need to read this ASAP. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cactuskid2 | 5/21/2011

    " Given to us by the Browns, an interesting look into Sully's life, he's a very honorable man. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elke | 2/17/2011

    " He is a hero regardless of what he says in this book and I loved reading about this hero's life and experience landing the plane in the Hudson. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 2/17/2011

    " I love Sully's writing style. Its an engrossing journey through his life (that includes serving in the USAF..thankfully, perhaps), and also gives good insights about prioritizing your life. He's truly a selfess, brave guy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 2/1/2011

    " The right book for our uncertain times. Gave Kyle a copy for Christmas, because he's a lot like Sully.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Margo | 1/25/2011

    " Perhaps I could have given it 3.5
    The retelling of the final flight that ended in the Hudson was very compelling.
    The economies the airlines are adopting are a bit frightening.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Florence | 1/23/2011

    " This is Captain Sullenberger's story of his childhood and background which helped prepare him for the Landing of Flight 155 in the Hudson. He gives much credit to plannning and perseverance. An easy interesting read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lauren | 12/20/2010

    " Highly enjoyable, highly inspirational, highly recommended. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bob | 11/14/2010

    " In his search for what really matters, he fell short. The book was about him and contained no reference to God's role in his life or in helping him with courage to act. So I guess he must still be searching! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robyn | 11/8/2010

    " I enjoyed this quite a bit. Capt. Sullenberger goes through his life experience by experience and gives you a look into what made him the man he is today. His story is terrific. The book can be a little plodding, at times, however. Still worth the time to read it. "

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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.