A Nation on the Edge: Politics in the Late Bush Era.

AuthorHelicher, Karl
PositionPolitical books - Book review

Work Title: A Nation on the Edge: Politics in the Late Bush Era

Work Author(s): Karl Helicher


Byline: Karl Helicher

The War in Iraq remains the focus of American politics and this past year has shown that the public is demanding a resolution to what has become a protracted civil war rather than the defining battleground of the War on Terror. With President Bush's handling of the war plummeting to a thirty-two percent approval rating, a change in policy is demanded in red and blue states. The new democratic congress has only a small window of opportunity to provide a satisfactory resolution to the war because frustration and intolerance for more of the same assures that the Democrats could be as decisively voted out of office as the Republicans were.

The selection included in this year's roundup are but a small representation of the many excellent books considered for inclusion. These pages often smolder with anger as they describe responses to very real threats in the post-9/11 world, investigate changes in the American political scene, and offer possible lessons from the war.

Responding to Threats

In Hunting the American Terrorist: The FBI's War on Homegrown Terror (History Publishing Company, 978-1-933909-34-9), Terry D. Turchie, deputy assistant director of the FBI's Counterterrorism Division, and Kathleen M. Puckett, a founding member of the FBI National Security Division's Behavioral Analysis Program, present a fascinating account of the capture of Ted Kaczynski, the notorious Unabomber who spent eighteen years terrorizing the American countryside. In 1994, Turchie took over the lead of the FBI team that captured Kaczynski and this narrative is as fast-paced as a good spy novel. The authors provide insight into the Unabomber's psychological makeup that could help foil future national and international terrorist plots.

In Getting a Grip: Clarity, Creativity, and Courage in a World Gone Mad (Small Planet Media, 978-0-97941-424-4), Frances Moore Lappe, author of the bestselling Diet for A Small Planet, reaffirms people's capacity for creating a good world out of the calamities---disease, poverty, animal extinction---endured by our current one. With plenty of anecdotes of how people, relying on their "basic sanity," successfully meet the challenges of globalism and world terrorism, the author has created a blueprint that shows the reader how to identify threats and how to respond to them in meaningful, practical ways.


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