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Fortress America: On the Front Lines of Homeland Security Paperback – September 27, 2005

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The nephew of former national security adviser Zbigniew, New York Times Magazine contributor Brzezinski (Casino Moscow) believes that the domestic American antiterrorist effort has lost momentum and that a new era of American intelligence has yet to dawn. He shows how the Department of Homeland Security has so far failed to connect federal and local authorities, expertly compares the U.S. as open society with Israel as security state, and recounts a chilling tale of the arrest and months-long detention of an Egyptian immigrant who had no connection to terrorists. Brzezinski goes on to imagine a U.S. of 2008, where a student and his associates are surveilled by a radio frequency identification system that can monitor just about anything and are guilty until proven innocent. A war game by a fictional White House staff grapples with a potential terrorist attack, while real terrorist attack response drills in U.S. cities show high levels of unpreparedness. Brzezinski's first-person at times mixes incongruously with policy analysis, and some assertions and speculations (such as "For Israel, abandoning the ruinous settlements and returning the land to the Palestinians was not likely to end terror") go unelaborated. But this breezy overview is bolstered by good reporting and grounded extrapolation.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

In this look at the post-9/11 U.S., Brzezinski begins by giving us plenty to be scared about. Pretty much everything, he warns, is a potential target for terrorists: metropolitan waterfronts, interstate highways, subways, shopping centers, food-processing plants, and on and on. And pretty much anything can be turned into a weapon: a passenger ferry, the postal service, a computer with an Internet connection. He goes on to describe the various ways the American government may choose to protect its citizens, and his vision of a safe future is plenty frightening, too: pathogen sensors; face-recognition software at ATMs; cars that keep track of where their drivers have been; computer programs that can spot abnormal behavior; even implants to allow authorities keep track of the whereabouts of foreign nationals. At one point, Brzezinski requests that we ask ourselves when self-preservation ("homeland security") becomes paranoia. That's not an easy question to answer, but this abundantly provocative book forces us to think about its implications. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (September 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553382535
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553382532
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,264,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
FORTRESS AMERICA is a well written, engrossing account of what we know so far and what COULD happen if forces go unchecked. We are, thankfully, a government of checks and balances and while most of the extreme scenarios in this book may not become a reality, it makes me even more vigilant that small measures (like the Patriot Act) do not snowball into larger issues. The fact remains that the future is even more uncertain than ever and I hope to never live in a country that would put my name on a list (or search my home or detain me or my family or even worse) for buying this book. I want to thank Mr. Brzezinski for exercising his First Amendment rights and would recommend this book to anyone who is concerned about the fate of personal liberties in this country.

I'm sorry to see that Amazon.com has become another political forum, of which maybe we have too many, instead of a book forum. It is hard to separate the two here, but previous reviewers seem to think that the two go hand in hand. Matthew Brzezinski's FORTRESS AMERICA is a necessary look at the COMING (see subtitle) surveillance state. It's not here yet and will hopefully never be here--but to guard against that, Americans have must voice their concerns and let their fears be known. We're not talking about the ragged old man announcing the end of the world with a placard on his back; we're talking about a serious journalist with serious concerns. I, for one, am glad to have read this, whether Mr. Brzezinski's predictions come to light or not. At least someone is watchful and willing to be vocal about things like this--not an easy feat in these days of the Patriot Act.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In depth portrait of the changes in America in the post 9/11 era. Brzezinski provides both a micro-level and macro-level perspective on the impact terrorism has made on American life.
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By Tom on January 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book does shed some light on previously little known topics. It is a book that must be read carefully.
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