After: How America Confronted the September 12 Era

After How America Confronted the September Era The story begins on September It reads like a novel But the characters in award winning journalist Steven Brill s America are real They don t have all the answers or all the virtues of fictio

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  • Title: After: How America Confronted the September 12 Era
  • Author: Steven Brill
  • ISBN: 9780743237093
  • Page: 354
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The story begins on September 12, 2001 It reads like a novel But the characters in award winning journalist Steven Brill s America are real They don t have all the answers or all the virtues of fictional heroes It is because they are so human so much like the rest of us that makes the way they rise to the challenge of September 12 such an inspiring story about hoThe story begins on September 12, 2001 It reads like a novel But the characters in award winning journalist Steven Brill s America are real They don t have all the answers or all the virtues of fictional heroes It is because they are so human so much like the rest of us that makes the way they rise to the challenge of September 12 such an inspiring story about how America really works.A Customs inspector somehow has to guard against a nuclear bomb that could be hidden in one of the thousands of cargo containers from all over the world sitting on his dock in New York harbor.A young woman in New Jersey, suddenly widowed with three young children, doesn t know how to get the keys to her husband s car, much less how she can challenge the head of a federal victims fund.An entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, who makes machines that screen luggage for bombs, can t decide if this crisis is an opportunity he should seize.Attorney General John Ashcroft has no idea how to find the new, hidden enemy living among us.The young, just hired director of the American Civil Liberties Union wonders how he can keep Ashcroft from going too far.The CEO of a giant insurer has to decide whether to risk economic panic by not paying damage claims that he might legally be able to avoid.Red Cross President Bernadine Healy has to figure out how to collect and allocate donations while dodging a hostile board of directors.Career civil servant Gale Rossides has to recruit and train the largest workforce ever hired by the government the new airport passenger screeners.A proprietor of a shoe repair shop helped by two young women, pro bono lawyers has torebuild a business buried in the rubble of Ground Zero.A Detroit Border Patrol agent whose bosses want to fire him for speaking out about how unprotected his stretch of border is has to choose whether to risk his family s livelihood by sounding the alarm.Tom Ridge has to run through a bureaucratic wall to mount a true homeland security defense.Drawing on 347 on the record interviews and revelations from memos of government meetings, court filings, and other documents, Brill gives us a front row seat as these and other players in this real life drama cross paths in a series of alliances and confrontations and fight for their own interests and their version of the public interest.The result is a gritty story and trailblazing journalism that inspires us not because these Americans or their country are perfect, but because they were tough enough, anchored enough, and living in a system that encouraged and enabled them to meet the awesome challenges they faced.

    One thought on “After: How America Confronted the September 12 Era”

    1. Am listening to audio version. It is disturbing to think how selfishly and confusedly our government officials and businessmen handled the aftermath of 9/11. You will cringe at the INS/Homeland Security/Justice Dept antics. There are a few bright spots, but not many and most of those were by individuals, not organizations. If only we had known what was happening, we never would have re-elected Bush.

    2. Finished this one today over lunch. Brill tries to put together a history of what happened after the attacks on 9/11 and show his readers "how the sausage was made". The creation of the Department of Homeland Security, the Red Cross donations, the 9/11 victims fund - the backgrounds behind all these are ugly, distressingly so at times. The politicking was ugly, the tragedy was ugly - for America and Americans, it was an ugly time.Brill's thesis, though - one of hope and Americans getting through [...]

    3. Great set up for understanding the U.S. in the post-9/11 age. The book opens, briefly, in 9/11/01, and follows a handful of real-life people in diverse roles as each grapples with the year ending on 9/11/02: A 9/11 widow whose husband worked at Cantor Fitzgerald; the general manager of the Memphis airport; Ken Feinberg, the Special Master of the 9/11 Fund; a small businessman whose business was near the World Trade Center; the family of a blue collar worker who died at the World Trade Center; an [...]

    4. An enlightening if at moments a terrifying review of the U.S.A. reaction in the days/weeks/months following the attacks of September 11, 2001.A must read resource for anyone who wants to have a coherent view of Post 9/11 America. The author Stephen Brill is like the rest of us in that he's still not 'far enough away' from the event to be completely clinical in his views yet he comes as close as any so far in this first decade post 9/11.It still seems there are pieces of this story to be told. Th [...]

    5. This was much more interesting than I had predicted. It describes the lives of several different people who were affected by 9/11 (families of victims who initiated funds, politicians, heads of national companies or groups) and how the knowledge we had prior to and after the WTC collapse changed the way the US perceived our safety. Some was kind of shocking, some made me sigh with regret and impatience. Gave me a heightened perspective on our country.

    6. I actually could never finish this. It tries to be a comprehensive history of what happened after Sept. 11, but feels more like a skimming of too many stories. Plus, this guy's writing is as dry as desert sand. There are very few books I start and do not finish. Didn't hate it, just could not get into it.

    7. A somewhat plodding, but informative book, about the six months after 9/11 and the machinations of the Bush Administration, the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, the attempt to placate the families of the victims and the aftermath on the lives of people who were impacted.

    8. Seems almost like another world back then when we were united in our sorrow and anger against the terrorists.

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