I Heard The Sirens Scream: How Americans Responded To The 9/11 And Anthrax Attacks: How Americans Responded To The 9/11 And Anthrax Attacks
- Publish Date: 2012-09-11
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Laurie Garrett
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Most observers have viewed the anthrax and al-Qaeda episodes separately, imagining the tragedies were coincident in time, but completely disconnected. In contrast, I HEARD THE SIRENS SCREAM by Pulitzer Prize winning author Laurie Garrett reveals a political, emotional, and investigative arc that links the terrorist hijackings and anthrax mailings, and shows that the combined impact impelled the war agenda and heightened anxieties among Americans. The United States of America was utterly transformed by the combination of the al-Qaeda and anthrax attacks. In riveting form, I HEARD THE SIRENS SCREAM unfolds like a novel, revealing shocking revelations on every page. Reviewers have said: Few people in the world could have provided a more accurate chronicla and analysis of those events than Laurie Garrett. Garrett's book is not only a superb chronicle of past events, it is also an illimunating guide to use in dealing with threats that are still current. - Julio Frenck, Dean of the Harvard School of Puclic Health & Octavio Gomez-Dantes, National Institute of Public Health in Cuernavaca, Mexico More than a terrific book, I Heard the Sirens Scream is a monument to a period. Garrett began writing on the day the Twin Towers fell. She made her way into lower Manhattan that day and most other days during the next four months. From that vantage she wrote a daily missive, as she calls it, plying her skills as a premier reporter and science writer. But woven into commentaries of heroism and missteps are her freely expressed emotions. A reader cannot help but share Garrett's grief about lost lives, her rage at the perpetrators, and pride in New York's selfless rescue workers. Much of Garrett's narrative is also devoted to the spread of anthrax spores via threat letters that were mailed in the wake of 9/11. The Capitol, Pentagon, Supreme Court, and Federal Reserve were closed because of suspected or actual anthrax contamination. Like those who unknowingly inhaled the poisonous bacteria, people near Ground Zero inhaled air filled with particles of glass and asbestos. Many firefighters, police, and other rescue workers later developed respiratory illnesses, apparently as a result of their exposure. They had not received special masks and protective gear because, as Garrett recounts, federal officials had falsely declared the air safe to breathe. Garrett laments most deeply the change that terrorism has wrought on our collective psyche. People never grow accustomed to fear, she writes. Our citizenry has been scarred emotionally by the terrorist experiences. This compelling book is not to be missed. - Leonard Cole, author of THE ANTHRAX LETTERS Laurie Garrett is the premier science reporter in America, if not the world. Whatever she writes should be read. Whatever she says must be listened to. Indeed, if the world had listened to her warnings prior to every health catastrophe in the past forty years, the world would be in a lot healthier shape than the mess we are in now. She is indeed a prophet. She is indeed the very best. i cannot think of anyone who comes anywhere near her. Like all great writers, she truly bears witness, as great writers are meant to do and rarely do. - Larry Kramer, writer of Tony Award Winning The Normal Heart and co-founder of ACT UP When the FBI formally closed the anthrax mailer case, Garrett boldly jammed her hand in the file drawer and said not so fast. I Heard the Sirens Scream makes a persuasive case that the FBI evidence was far short of persuasive itself, cataloging the elite law enforcement agency's many scientific inconsistencies and blunders. A powerful reminder that in the post-9/11 frenzy for justice, truth may have become a victim, too. -Jon Cohen, writer for Science Magazine I Head the Sirens Scream is an eLIT GOLD MEDAL WINNER for Best Science Book and an eLIT SILVER MEDAL WINNER, Best Current Affairs Book