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Living Terrors: What America Needs to Know…

Living Terrors: What America Needs to Know to Survive the Coming…

by Michael T. Phd Osterholm

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This book was published before Sept. 11, 2001. I was interested to read it because I wanted to know immediately if the book was a lie or not, whether their predictions had come true regarding terrorism, bioterrorism and the countries that our government "suspects" has Weapons of Mass Destruction. I also thought it was a good time to be reading it because, when I began it, the country was on the brink of going to war with Iraq.

Little did I realize even then how timely, prophetic, omenous it would end up being as I hear about chem-suits being found in Iraq and protesters saying we had no proof Iraq had WMDs (weapons of mass destruction.)

The quote at the beginning of the book (between the acknowledgements and the introduction) immediately gave me chills. It is a complete forewarning of 9-11. Knowing what they knew THEN, the authors of the article it quotes talk about the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and asking, what if it had been worse? "Like Pearl Harbor, this even would divide our past and our future into a before and after." Prophetic?

The book then goes on to convince me that we, as a general population, are clueless as to a possible bioterrorist attack, even after the Anthrax scare of 2001. It quotes so many scientific, intelligence and government sources, I wonder why these people haven't been paraded on the cable news shows to prove Bush was right to send the troops into Iraq after their evasion of UN resolutions for 12 years. We knew in 2000 what weapons Iraq has. After this book, I may even agree with those that say we should have taken care of North Korea first (there's even more documentation on them possessing WMDs.)

Don't feel like I can rate a book that gives this kind of information. It's more like news. You don't care how it's delivered, just that it's delivered.
  krysteria | Apr 15, 2008 |
The scenarios at the beginning of each chapter were a bit laughable. The last chapter was full of great ideas that made this book worth reading ( )
  norro | Jun 28, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385334818, Paperback)

"We are ... at the brink of a new age: what some experts call catastrophic terrorism," write Michael T. Osterholm (an epidemiologist) and John Schwartz (a Washington Post science reporter) at the start of this slim volume. What's more, "the United States is not doing enough to prepare." Smallpox, anthrax, bubonic plague--a smart terrorist could use any of these deadly diseases to wreak havoc on thousands or even millions of Americans. Yet there aren't enough antibiotics and vaccines in stockpile, public-health facilities can't handle a "surge," and most law enforcement agencies have no idea how to cope with a crisis. "I do not believe it is a question of whether a lone terrorist or terrorist group will use infectious disease agents to kill unsuspecting citizens; I'm convinced it's really just a question of when and where," writes Osterholm in the introduction.

Books about disease and bioterrorism have become a subgenre in recent years, following the popular success of Richard Preston's The Hot Zone and Ken Alibek's Biohazard. Living Terrors probably provides the best quick-and-dirty guide to the problem for lay readers, with its harrowing descriptions of why certain diseases are so fatal and its clear assessment of America's disturbing vulnerabilities. Each chapter begins with a fictionalized account of how an attack might occur. In one, Osterholm and Schwartz write of a disgruntled scientist who loads anthrax into a crop-duster and flies over a crowded stadium. The authors believe this kind of sensationalism is completely warranted, given the nature of the threat and federal government's lackadaisical response to it. The point, they say, is "to warn you that the threat of biological terrorism is real without frightening you out of your wits. Instead, we hope to frighten you into your wits." --John J. Miller

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:16 -0400)

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