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The Edge of Disaster: Rebuilding a Resilient Nation by Stephen Flynn

Reviewed by John McQuaid
Washington Post Book World

"The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina — two distinct, epochal disasters in the space of four years — shook America's swaggering, historical sense of invulnerability. Each also exposed alarming weaknesses in the elaborate systems designed to protect us, including airline security, intelligence-gathering and flood defenses. It was logical to expect that political leaders from President Bush on down would make fortifying America against future disasters job one. Unaccountably, they didn't. The Department of Homeland Security, with its erratic terror alerts and its habit of gracing small Midwestern cities with terror-fighting grants ahead of New York and Washington, is not yet a functional federal agency. And though both politicians and the public seem aware of the nation's vulnerabilities, our levees are still weak, and our ports and chemical plants are still exposed to the opportunistic terrorist. What gives?..." Read the entire Washington Post Book World review.

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