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Angel PatriotsThe Crash of United Flight 93 and the Myth of America$
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Alexander T. Riley

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479870479

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479870479.001.0001

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The Cultural Narratives of the Books on Flight 93

The Cultural Narratives of the Books on Flight 93

(p.192) 6 The Cultural Narratives of the Books on Flight 93
Angel Patriots

Alexander T. Riley

NYU Press

This chapter explores the cultural narratives of the biographical books written about some of the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93. The books, largely written by family members, about passengers on Flight 93 both can be classified as coherent and only slightly differing versions of an American hero myth. Only four of the passengers have been the subject of such “lives of the hero” books: Todd Beamer, Mark Bingham, Tom Burnett Jr., and Jeremy Glick, whose deaths are described as having been signaled in advance in some form of supernatural premonition or other mystically significant occurrences that demonstrate the hand of God in the events of 9/11. This chapter considers the emergence of 9/11 heroism and hero myth, with particular reference to the Flight 93 heroes and their depiction as adhering to highly traditional and conservative visions of values and moral purity. It also examines the emergence of the Christian hero-martyr in the popular literature on Flight 93 passengers.

Keywords:   biographical books, United Airlines Flight 93, hero myth, supernatural, premonition, 9/11, heroism, heroes, Christian hero- martyr, Flight 93 passengers

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