In After we go inside the late night audiences that lobbyists get with congressional leaders like Tom DeLay. We're in the White House sub-basement as the mammoth Department of Homeland Security is patched together, agency by agency. And we're in a young widow's living room as she struggles to hold her family together and make sense of the various charities and government funds that may be available to her.
But beyond being a masterpiece of reporting, After is a riveting narrative of people, some well known, others not known at all, facing the defining challenge of their lives. As their paths cross in a series of surprising alliances and confrontations, Brill finds in their stories the answer to how America changed and prevailed.
After is an indelible picture of America and Americans battling their way through a time of crisis. And we see that Americans and their country were anything but soft when it came to standing up the morning after.
"A wealth of moving, thought-provoking information." (Booklist) "A sprawling, panoramic account of life after September 11....Formidable journalistic research, sharp reporting and lively characterizations." (Publishers Weekly)
The narration of <i>After</i> is excellent and the story--one you think you <i>might</i> know--comes across as fresh, personal, gripping and ultimately frustrating. Hindsight is 20/20 after all, and I gritted my teeth hearing how unprepared and blind we were to the attacks heading our way. The detailed background of the INS screw ups, the creation of the TSA and the machinations in the Oval Office and on Capitol Hill are all very interesting. Brill's conclusions, though, are full of holes and inconsistencies. He ruins his own story by ending on what sounds like a naive civics lesson.
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