After: How America Confronted the September 12 Era

Written by:
Steven Brill
Narrated by:
Dennis Boutsikaris

Abridged Audiobook

Release Date
April 2003
9 hours 0 minutes
After is an astounding, inspiring, and exciting account of America in the first year of the September 12th era. Based on 347 on-the-record interviews and revelations from memos of government meetings, court filings and other documents, award winning journalist Steven Brill takes us inside the critical dramas of the year after the September 11 attacks -- from the Justice Department's drive to find terror cells, to Congress's decision to bail out the airline industry, to a Ground Zero real estate mogul's audacious plan to litigate his way to an extra $3.5 billion in insurance proceeds.
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.
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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.

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Chuck LeFebvre

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.

After: How America Confronted the September 12 Era
This title is due for release on April 1, 2003.

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After: How America Confronted the September 12 Era
This title is due for release on April 1, 2003
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