From Routine to Catastrophic, Giuliani's New York Is Open Book





More than four years later, the written record of life inside the mayor's office in the chaotic weeks after Sept. 11 is emerging for the first time from city archives.

At once insightful, poignant and banal, the documents vividly portray an administration toiling in the shadow of catastrophe, grappling with basic needs, fielding requests for help and offers of advice, and coping with an unrelenting dirge of wakes and funerals. They also provide the occasional glimpse of Mr. Giuliani's personal activities.

Fires still burned at ground zero. Fighter jets patrolled the skies. The country mobilized for war. And in Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's office, the phone calls, faxes and e-mail messages never stopped coming.

Bill Gates wanted to know if he should continue with plans to announce his new Windows XP software. A city councilwoman sought help with a building permit in Queens. Henry Kissinger called from Tokyo with a few thoughts.


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