I have tried to read all I can about 9/11. This book offered some insight about what went on behind the scenes of various agencies and peoples lives for the first year. I have to say that it made me quite uncomfortable to hear how the US Government just created a huge new bureaucracy without even evaluating what would be the best. Some people really struggled with the issues and others just became tyrants. The fact that many front line people knew how at risk we were, but no one listened. I loved the information on the families and their struggles. But it was a laborious read. Monotonous at times. It makes us realize that no matter what we vote, the powers at be, will do whatever they want. They will do it without considering all ramifications.
As advertised, this book gives the reader a detailed look at the policy decisions that followed the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Brill attempts to go further, expounding in several places on his thesis that America works, and works well, because competing players (read: special interests) make their cases (read: pay lobbyists to wine and dine) to decision-makers (read: politicians), who, armed with the facts, generally get things right. Brill suggests that the events following 9/11 are a representative case study of this theory.
He fails to convince. Sept. 11 was, we all know, unique, and Brill does not acknowledge that thousands of decisions, many transparently biased, are made annually that affect us all but, for a variety of reasons, only one side usually gets access to the decision makers. Thus, while this book gets credit for being thought provoking, it ultimately dissapoints due to its thin and poorly supported thesis.
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