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Download The Red Bandanna: A Life. A Choice. A Legacy. Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Red Bandanna: A Life. A Choice. A Legacy. Audiobook, by Tom Rinaldi 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: Tom Rinaldi Narrator: Tom Rinaldi Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2016 ISBN: 9780735289437
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A New York Times bestseller

What would you do in the last hour of your life?

The story of Welles Crowther, whose actions on 9/11 offer a lasting lesson on character, calling and courage
One Sunday morning before church, when Welles Crowther was a young boy, his father gave him a red handkerchief for his back pocket. Welles kept it with him that day, and just about every day to come; it became a fixture and his signature.

A standout athlete growing up in Upper Nyack, NY, Welles was also a volunteer at the local fire department, along with his father. He cherished the necessity and the camaraderie, the meaning of the role. Fresh from college, he took a Wall Street job on the 104th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center, but the dream of becoming a firefighter with the FDNY remained.

When the Twin Towers fell, Welles’s parents had no idea what happened to him. In the unbearable days that followed, they came to accept that he would never come home. But the mystery of his final hours persisted. Eight months after the attacks, however, Welles’s mother read a news account from several survivors, badly hurt on the 78th floor of the South Tower, who said they and others had been led to safety by a stranger, carrying a woman on his back, down nearly twenty flights of stairs.  After leading them down, the young man turned around.  “I’m going back up,” was all he said.

The survivors didn’t know his name, but despite the smoke and panic, one of them remembered a single detail clearly: the man was wearing a red bandanna.  

Tom Rinaldi’s The Red Bandanna is about a fearless choice, about a crucible of terror and the indomitable spirit to answer it. Examining one decision in the gravest situation, it celebrates the difference one life can make.

From the Hardcover edition. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “[A] lovely book…People see the fallen, beat-up world around them and ask: What can I do? Maybe: Be like Welles Crowther. Take your bandanna, change the world.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Gripping…deeply moving.’”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Rinaldi incorporates many survivor accounts…[and] captures the compelling urgency of the indelible event.”

    Kirkus Review

  • “A memorable and compelling account of the classic American hero…[and] concludes by summarizing the impact that sacrifice has made in the years since the attacks.”

    Library Journal

  • “How often does a book make you feel so deeply you need to just stop and breathe?…Rinaldi is a masterful storyteller.”

    Newark Star Ledger

  • “For those looking for an inspiring modern-day narrative, wherein a young man goes beyond himself to help others—and makes the ultimate sacrifice.”

    Library Journal

  • “Tom Rinaldi’s grounded tone gives listeners a sense of comfort while experiencing this tragic yet inspirational audiobook…Rinaldi’s narrative does not overdramatize events, an approach that makes this story even more moving.”


  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for September 2016
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About the Author

Tom Rinaldi has been a correspondent at ESPN for more than a decade. His work has won ten Sports Emmy Awards, and his writing and feature reporting has been nominated for an Emmy more than forty times. Born in Brooklyn, he is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Columbia Journalism School. He lives in Cresskill, New Jersey, with his family.