Decade of Fear

Decade of Fear is a darkly entertaining journey through the complicated, often bizarre world of national security since 9/11. On that night, Toronto Star journalist Michelle Shephard watched the remains of New York’s World Trade Center fall from the sky, wondering what much of the world was asking: “Why?” So began a ten-year search for answers that took her through the streets of Mogadishu and Karachi, into the mountains of Waziristan and behind the wire of Guantanamo Bay two dozen times.

Shephard conducted hundreds of interviews worldwide, and with sharp insight and an appreciation for the absurd, she weaves together stories of warlords, presidents, spies, grieving widows and global terrorists, to describe the historic decade where often the West’s “solutions” for terrorism only served to exacerbate the problem. She cruises with former CIA bosses, runs alongside protestors in the streets of Sanaa to escape fire from Yemen’s security services during experience the Arab Spring, meets victims of terrorism who leave her devastated, and earns enough stamps on her Gitmo Starbucks card for a free latte. Gripping, heartbreaking and infuriating, Decade of Fear broadens our understanding of a decade that was all too often described through panicked rhetoric.

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