Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Book Review

I highly recommend this book. Although I admit I was a bit disappointed in the beginning, which encompasses Kristen Breitweister's youth and the ever-persistent efforts by Ron (her future husband) to win her over in a span of four years. What bothered me, as a feminist, is how Kristen graduated from law school; married Ron; and proceeded to do nothing beyond decorating her home and laying out Ron's clothes every night AND adopting his beliefs (a real Reagan fan).

But the tragedy of her loss, and the aftermath of processing it, really transformed Kristen into an outspoken, independent thinker. In the beginning stages, Kristen wanted nothing to do with the 9/11 issues. She is (was?) quite shy. But another of the Jersey 4 (basically) FORCED Kristen to get involved. As a result, she became the stronghold behind the 9/11 Commission. And that was no easy feat -- as the administration placed myriad hurdles in front of the efforts. Kristen never let up with any of them.

And what makes things more interesting are the political roadblocks and partisan BS that comes along with that. Kristen clearly spells out how much our government KNEW before 9/11 that could have prevented the attacks. Further, she explains that COMMUNICATION between agencies was so thwarted that (for whatever reason) resulted in 9/11. What is more, we learn of the numerous scapegoats in the disaster.

What really makes this book so wonderful is how Kristen artfully weaves her personal tragedy with the politics of its outcome. You will shed tears as she walks you through with her discovery (via TV) of the first attack; her subequent phonecall from her husband; and her lengthy journey of denial to the day her dear friend pushed her to accept that Ron is gone (and they only had his left hand/arm to bury -- Kristen kept the salvaged wedding band of her husband).

On a side note, Kristen sang the praises of Tom Kean. I was quite surprised, given the latest role he had in that stupid 9/11 movie on ABC. I wonder if she still views him as non-partisan. Added BONUS: in the back of the book, Kristen has a letter that she wrote to Ann Coulter in response to Coulter's attacks. It's a very good read.

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