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Publisher's Summary

In this inspirational autobiography, Captain "Sully" Sullenberger, the airline pilot whose emergency landing on the Hudson River earned the world's admiration, 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 - and can never be replaced by - technology, and 40 years of careful practice and training.

From his earliest memories of learning to fly as a teenager in a crop duster's single-engine plane in the skies above rural Texas to his years in the United States Air Force at the controls of a powerful F-4 Phantom, 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.

His wife, Lorrie, has been a pillar of support through all the highs and lows that life has offered, from the challenges of commercial flying to the birth of their two daughters, from financial struggles to the event of January 15, 2009. Though the world may remember Sully as the hero of Flight 1549, the legacy he desires even more is that of a loving husband and father.

Highest Duty is the intimate story of a man who has grown up to embrace what we think of as quintessential American values: leadership, responsibility, commitment to hard work, and service to others. And it is a narrative that reminds us that cultivating seemingly ordinary virtues can prepare us to....

Please note: This title has also been released as Sully: My Search for What Really Matters.

©2009 Chesley Sullenberger III (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Highest Duty

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A life time of preperation

Captain Sullenberger prepared his whole flying career, as a teenager in Texas, to the Airforce Academy, and as a Commercial Airline Pilot for US Airways for the landing on the Hudson. Scully give us an insite into his life as an aviator, who's everyday life is very much like any of ours with the same daily challenges. How he handle a potential disaster of Flight 1547 and how his life was changed for not only him, but his family and crew was a very interesting and pleasant read. Ordinary people doing extronary things.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • MG
  • 05-23-10

An ordinary life turned quite exciting

Much of this book could be any reader's story. Growing up middle class, family projects and trips, dating, marraige, children, a hobby, and a job. However, Capt. Sully earned the right to share his story with us after doing something most readers would not be able to do: stay calm and save 150 lives when tragedy struck. His first officer's role cannot be underestimated. This is a coaching manual for anyone working on teams who seek excellence.

3 people found this helpful

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Highest Duty - Much Different from the Movie

I read this book since I planned to see the movie. I did not see the movie but read the Wikipedia synopsis. Based on the two, I did not see the movie. This book is much different from the movie which centers on the accident and the aftermath. This book covers Sullenberger's life in aviation and later in aviation safety. There is little discussion on the investigation which apparently dominates the movie. The book is critical of the airline industry's cost saving measures and the pay scales; both which I have some empathy with Captain Sullenberger but at the same time realize he lived at the end of the "Golden Age of Commercial Aviation". I recommend reading this book but it is not a top priority. It does show how his and the crew's meticulous attention to detail and dedication that led to the "Miracle on the Hudson". It could have gone the usual way easily ... all passengers, crew and aircraft lost.

2 people found this helpful

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fantastic

for a lifelong aviation enthusiast, absolutely fantastic, powerful and moving. didnt want this book to end.

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Highest Duty

What did you love best about Highest Duty?

Well told story.

What did you like best about this story?

Written by someone who knows aviation.

What about Michael McConnohie and Chesley B. Sullenberger ’s performance did you like?

Very well done.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

sure, if one only had time.

Any additional comments?

As a retired US Airways pilot myself,having flown that aircraft and airport many times, appreciated the story.

2 people found this helpful

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Sully, the Highly Respectful Hero

You are the real hero! I came to know that the marvelous miracle had not just happened by chance. You have been prepared well in advance through your study, practice and with thoughtfulness. I love the 'preparedness', paying my sincere respect and thanks.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

just a good interesting book.

my husband and I both enjoyed it on our way to Florida in the car in September for my birthday

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Riveting story full of valuable life lessons

Polished narration of a story that still inspires each of us to be all that we can be. The lessons are about setting priorities, being an expert at your craft, and reflecting upon a life well lived. Children and teenagers can learn from this true story as well as adults.

1 person found this helpful

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Awesome

Loved it heard the story had to listen sully did great job telling his story

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Fun read for everyone... especially pilots

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Obama should read this. No time for blame. Just EXPERIENCED action. Stop blaming other people and get 'er done!

Any additional comments?

This book should be a "self help" book in people living their lives. How many of us know people who constantly BLAME other people. The time lapse from hitting the birds to being in the Hudson was less than 4 minutes. Blaming the birds, blaming maintenance, blaming the engine manufacturer, blaming the control tower, ALL would not do a darn thing to fix the problem. This is when you have to prioritize and use EXPERIENCE. Pilots are trained to prioritize. Politicians are trained to sell HOPE and to push BLAME. We need a pilot to lead our country, not the piece of garbage we have now in the White House.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ciaran McCabe
  • 09-21-22

Brilliant listen for any aviation enthusiast

brilliant insight into what happened in the flight and what happened in his life

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  • Patricia Dubois-Wilson
  • 08-25-22

À good and humble story containing life’s essential values

An incredible book. I never expected to love it so much. It is written with sincerity and authenticity. It will stay with me for a long time. Regardless of the miracle which occurred landing the flight safely in the Hudson, Captain Sully’s humanity stands out. We are simply listening to a great and good man.

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  • John Ullathorne
  • 04-01-22

Cactus 1549

I really wanted to enjoy this book and I didn’t enjoy it at all. Small parts to the flight 1549 but too long and too drawn out. Very disappointed genuinely gutted

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  • Thomas Thomson
  • 11-30-21

Truly wonderful!

As an aspiring pilot, listening to this was truly inspiring. What an amazing story about something so unpredictable. Thank you!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-12-21

A must-read (listen)

I’m a pilot cadet, working on my commercial license. I feel this book is a must for every future pilot & aviation lover. It really puts into perspective our training & way-of-thinking. Thank you for the great lesson, Sully.

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  • George
  • 01-29-21

Brilliant story and outcome

I thoroughly loved the story and insight in to flight 1549. deffinatley worth the time.

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  • Deborah Cooper
  • 10-15-20

Amazing true story!

An incredible life story from a truly incredible man! If you loved the film, you’re going to love this book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-13-19

Refreshing, and Inspiring

Truly inspiring story, reminding all of us that we need to do our best day in and day out and be ready for when we are called upon to stand up to life's challenges. it is a story of a normal guy facing some of life's challenges who did a tremendous thing. You will have even more respect to Capt. Sully after you read this book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-06-18

a lifetime of experience that makes s difference

great story with thoughful insight that shows how all we learn through life makes us who we are and provides the resources to cope with emergencies.

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  • Adam Webb
  • 07-10-17

Stunning and inspiring book

This goes down as perhaps my favourite book thus far. The narrator is excellent. The story is amazing. The life story and development of Sully is spelled out beautifully. Everything in his life was leading to that one moment. I found the story so very inspiring and hopeful. There are some great lessons to live ones life by in this book.

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  • Markus
  • 12-08-16

Great autobyography

The story and details of the event, comprehensive and capturing also for non aviation experienced listeners.

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