An Important Book You Can Only Buy on Amazon

News on ebooks seems to come in clusters, and it happened again today.  While having lunch at Fresh Choice, one of those build-your-own-salad type places, I was reading and enjoying a Donovan Creed novel by John Locke who I wrote about yesterday.

I’ve said many times that I think the burgeoning option of ebook publishing is important for readers and writers.  But there is important and there’s important.   Here’s something weightier than simply a good read.

After my lunch, I got in the car and turned on NPR to listen to, “Science Friday.”  Laurie Garrett was being interviewed about her book on 9/11 entitled, I heard the Sirens Scream.

Ms Garrett is senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations.  She’s the only journalist to win “the big three” prizes in her field, the Peabody, the Polk, and the Pulitzer, but you cannot get her book in a bookstore – it is only available on Amazon.

With all the impending chest thumping and flag waving on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I would suggest everyone listen to or read the transcript of this interview:

Garrett is furious that New York:  “became the reason to beat the drumbeats of war, that the attacks on our city were used by people who don’t live here to decide that we needed to invade Iraq, that the attacks on our city have been used by any number of politicians, misused, abused, with rewritten narrative, you know, the great lies told to justify all sorts of political things, everything from decreasing our civil liberties to building up a massive bioterrorism apparatus in this country, distorting our whole public health mission.

And I think the other thing is that as we approach the 10th anniversary, I should warn your listeners you’re going to be deluged with pathos.”

She contrasts this with the attempts of by Congress to deny funding to surviving Twin Towers rescue workers.  Garrett herself, who spent time near ground zero, was coughing up blood on her pillow at night, and talks of the way reports were massaged to remove the word, “asbestos.”

She summarizes worldwide response to 9/11 as unity or “singularity,” in outrage at the horror of the attacks, but goes on to say:  “You go out 120 days, that singularity has turned into the exact opposite: a moment of complete fracturing, of compete degeneration of the unity that was on one day…I think many of the ways that we responded, whether we’re talking about the public health response, the political response, the law enforcement, whatever aspect you look at, many of ways we responded set the seeds for this terrible, almost civil-war-type atmosphere that we live in in this country with such partisan dispute that the word compromise is considered evil, and the word governance is on nobody’s lips.”

You can see more of Laurie Garrett’s work on this and other topics at her blog:

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