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Wake-Up Call: The Political Education of a 9/11 Widowby Kristen Breitweiser
Synopses & Reviews
Kristen didn't know what he was saying. He told her to turn on the television. He continued. "They are jumping out of the windows. Right across from me...Sweets, I'm safe...But I have to go." The call ended abruptly and Kristen watched with horror as the second tower exploded. In that frozen instant, she felt in her heart that Ron had been killed.
Wake-Up Call is the deeply personal, often shocking, and ultimately inspirational story of a woman whose world was shattered by terrorism — and who, with no husband by her side or father for her child, found the courage and strength to not only build a new life, but become one of the country's most outspoken activists and harshest critics of the current administration.
A former Republican, Breitweiser, along with three other 9/11 widows (known to the media as "The Jersey Girls"), fought tirelessly for the creation of the 9/11 Commission, in spite of strong opposition from President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, and many other top government officials. While describing her journey, Breitweiser discloses eye-opening information about mistakes made prior to the 9/11 attacks, cover-ups discovered during her campaign for the 9/11 Commission, surprising encounters with some of the country's most powerful officials, and unsettling facts about present-day national security.
Moving, hard-hitting, and revelatory, Kristen Breitweiser's book is a wake-up call no American can ignore.
"In September of 2001, Breitweiser had a tumor in her breast, was suffering from colitis and lupus and recovering from the death of her mother from cancer of the mouth. Then terrorists crashed into the World Trade Center, killing her beloved husband and hundreds more. Devastated, the New Jersey stay-at-home mom became an activist, channeling her pain and rage into learning everything she could about the U.S. government's role in the attacks — an excruciating journey that is carefully chronicled in this emotionally charged memoir. Colloquial in tone, Breitweiser recounts how she and three widow pals — her fellow 'Jersey Girls' — began lobbying the government to establish an independent 9/11 commission to explore all that went wrong that day. With narrative ease, the author, who has a law degree, breaks down complex arguments and political theories: one chapter is dedicated to a single footnote from The 9/11 Investigations, while another segment explains why negligence is cheaper than prevention for airlines and governments. But in episodes where she mouths off to Henry Kissinger and campaigns for the 'awkward' John Kerry, her frustration palpably grows. Though not the most elegant storyteller, Breitweiser has produced a touching account of her history and ongoing mission that's bound to achieve prominence thanks to Ann Coulter's recent attacks on the author. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Eye-opening....Valiant and heartbreaking." Kirkus Reviews
"This heartfelt memoir will resonate with most Americans regardless of their political affiliations and serve as a reminder to many that there is still work to be done and action to be taken." Booklist
Book News Annotation:
Breitweiser, one of the nation's leading 9/11 activists, was a Republican and a suburban mother and housewife until her husband was killed in the September 11th terrorist attacks. The attack galvanized Breitweiser politically, and, along with three other 9/11 widows, she fought for the creation of the 9/11 Commission in the face of strong opposition from President Bush and many other top government officials. In this account, she describes her recovery from the nightmare of the attacks, and discusses cover-ups revealed during her campaign for the 9/11 Commission. B&w personal photos are included. There is no subject index. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
This is the eye-opening, moving, and politically explosive story of a woman who was catapulted from a quiet suburban family life into a courageous battle for justice after her husband was killed in the Trade Center attacks.
About the Author
Kristen Breitweiser is one of the nation's leading 9/11 activists. She appears frequently on national television as a commentator on matters related to terrorism and has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, Oprah, Glamour, and Ms., and is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post and other publications. Breitweiser was named Woman of the Year by both Ms. and Glamour, and won the 2005 Ron Ridenhour Truth-telling Award. She lives in New York City with her daughter.
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