How America Confronted The September 12 Era
Steven Brill

Simon & Schuster
April 7, 2003
Hardcover/723 pages
ISBN: 0-7432-3709-9
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"A textbook for the future."


"A book that doesn?t belong hidden in a bookshelf."


". . . narrative writing style that avoids overwhelming the reader."

AFTER, written by journalist and author Steven Brill, is a book that doesn’t belong hidden in a bookshelf. It should be read by all. On September 11th, Americans’ lives changed forever. This 700 plus page book explains the “how."




Brill has gone to great lengths to personalize the day-by-day course of events that started on September 12th, 2001, by using a narrative writing style that avoids overwhelming the reader with the vault of data he’s accumulated. But what makes this book so important isn’t necessarily the “what happened,” but rather how decisions were made and the questions these decisions created. We get an inside view of how Tom Ridge weighed the pros and cons before he accepted his new position of leading Homeland Security efforts. We learn how the McKinsey consultants attempted to define, in economical terms, “who was a victim.”

There are hard questions left unanswered, such as:

* How does one rate the dollar value for one human life over another?

* How can America be protected from future terrorist acts?

* How can the trust and morale of the American people be rebuilt?

But AFTER is not a doomsday book. It is a textbook for the future. As Brill states in his Epilogue, January 2003, “How Americans live has been indelibly affected. But the country’s core values and way of life remain the same.”

Reviewer: E. M. Kurecka