Read While America Sleeps: A Wake-up Call for the Post-9/11 Era by Russ Feingold Online


Former senator Russ Feingold looks at institutional failures, both domestic and abroad, since the 9/11 terrorist attacks and proposes steps to be taken—by the government and by individuals—to ensure that the next ten years are focused on solving the international problems that threaten America.In While America Sleeps, Russ Feingold details our nation’s collective failure tFormer senator Russ Feingold looks at institutional failures, both domestic and abroad, since the 9/11 terrorist attacks and proposes steps to be taken—by the government and by individuals—to ensure that the next ten years are focused on solving the international problems that threaten America.In While America Sleeps, Russ Feingold details our nation’s collective failure to respond properly to the challenges posed by the post-9/11 era. Oversimplification of complicated new problems as well as thecynical exploitation of the fears generated by 9/11 have undermined our ability to adjust effectively to America’s new place in the world. This has weakened our efforts to protect American lives, our national security, and our constitutional values. Ranging from institutional failures to “get it right” by Congress, the executive branch, and the media to the way we have spoken of the war on terror, the nature of Islam, and American exceptionalism, too often we have not made the best choices in confronting, in Churchill’s words, the “new conditions under which we now haveto dwell.” Senator Feingold explores the way in which the American public has been fed inadequate informationor mere slogans to explain 9/11, Al Qaeda, and related events. This compares unfavorably with the candor often associated with, for example, FDR’s fireside chats during World War II. Lumping Al Qaeda into a catch-all category known as “bad guys,” failing to make it clear that Islam itself is not a threat to our way of life, and underestimating the extreme difficulty of fully invading individual countries as a way to root out international terrorism are examples of this misdirection. Moreover, our general inability to keep our eyes on the international ball seems to have growneven worse in the years following 9/11. More than ten years after one of the greatest wake-up calls in human history, our nation seems to have again grown complacent about the issues that suddenly seemed so urgent immediately after 9/11. While America Sleeps suggests ways in which we can awaken a new national commitment to engage withthe rest of the world and one another in a less simplistic and more thoughtful way. Feingold’s hope is that when the history of this era is written, it will be said that our country was taken off guard at the height of its power at the turn of the century and stumbled for a decade in an unfamiliar environment, but in the following decade America found a new national commitment of unity and resolve to adapt to its new status and leadership in the world....

Title : While America Sleeps: A Wake-up Call for the Post-9/11 Era
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780307952523
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

While America Sleeps: A Wake-up Call for the Post-9/11 Era Reviews

  • Jason Roselander
    2019-02-20 02:24

    If I were reviewing Russ Feingold, the person, I would give him several thousand stars out of five, for reasons that are probably obvious to anyone interested in reading this."While America Sleeps" is an engaging, if not exactly mind-blowing look at Feingold's time in the Senate. It was interesting to read that Biden was supportive of invading Iraq, a misjudgment for which he was rewarded with a spot on the ticket of the "anti-war" candidate.Feingold's pleas for greater engagement with the world, along with his other proposed remedies, are certainly heartfelt, but it's hard to imagine them having much effect. I sincerely hope that he'll return to public life, where he can have a more direct impact, and soon.

  • Jim Puskas
    2019-03-09 00:33

    An engaging and pithy read for anyone who cares about the recent and ongoing political climate in the Western World.Sen. Feingold is best known as the man who cast the lone "no" vote when the US Senate passed the infamous "USA Patriot Act" which demonstrably violates the Constitution, allowing unprecedented degrees of government snooping into the private lives of Americans -- even to the extent of recording what books people borrow from libraries and enabling the FBI to engage in wiretaps without warrant. Not surprisingly, both right-leaning civil libertarians and left-leaning Democrats have since begun to decry the loss of liberty and privacy; yet there has been no serious move to repeal the Act and the security establishment that was brought into existence with the Act is now well entrenched. Since Feingold's departure, no legislator has had the courage to face the Tea Party accusations of being terrorist-friendly that would ensue if he or she challenged the Act. Bin Ladin must be laughing wherever his soul resides.Of course, there's a lot more to Feingold's book than that. Although he indulges in a bit more Capitol Hill minutiae than is really needed, he does make a number of other cogent points, e.g. the desperate need on the part of Americans to be a lot more knowledgeable than they have been about how the rest of the world thinks and works. The Republicans of today (who bear no resemblance to the GOP of Eisenhower) conveniently forget that the fiscal mess left from bailing out the big banks was instituted not by Obama but by the Bush administration; they will also forget that Feingold voted against that too. And they will of course dismiss this book out of hand amid what passes for political discourse in America. Feingold seems to be preaching to an empty church.

  • Tuck
    2019-03-19 23:32

    you may know feingold as the ex-senator from wisconsin. he was one of our most liberal (and loved by me for it) and was beaten for reelection in what? 2010? 2008? AHH who cares?! like i said, our most liberal, and really, our last liberal. this book is a rather boring (unless you like the whole insider look at how the senate works, and what they did when jet planes started crashing around them, and anthrax started making them itch, and foreign relations committees etc etc etc) re-hash of the last couple of decades in usa and world (from his pov). so for 200-300 pages you get the dope on senate junkets, junketeers, how important it is to know and understand our neighbor countries, our friend countries, our enemies, how muddled headed usa politicians are and greedy too.last few pages his conclusion is usa needs to become better educated, more empathetic, work and live in other countries to spread the love and better understand the world outside strip malls and fat asses. amen to all that, but let me just drone these little kids, then i'll get right on that.

  • Kristen
    2019-02-23 23:22

    In my cheesehead mind, Russ Feingold can do no wrong. He was an excellent Senator and this book hits home for both the left and rights out there interested in the post 9/11 climate of the country. There were many insightful interactions between Senator Feingold and fellow politicians detailed in the book, bringing a new perspective of many right-leaning leaders I would normally disregard. I hope that this book is read by people of all political affiliations, not just leftists, to act as a catalyst of potential (hopeful thinking) bipartisan success stories to come. And just as an aside, how about Feingold 2016 :)

  • Meagan Myhren-bennett
    2019-03-05 03:15

    While America Sleeps:A Wake-up Call for the Post-9/11 EraBy Russ FeingoldWhile America Sleeps is an insightful look from former US Senator Russ Feingold in how America contributed to the its own fall. By assuming an attitude of disinterest in the world outside our own we convinced the rest of the world that we don't care about their plight or day-to-day struggles unless there is something in it for us.America ignored the warning signs, thinking the mere greatness of name would keep us safe. But we were rudely awaken on September 11, 2001 when we were attacked on our own soil not with conventional weapons, but with airplanes. But in the “war on terror” that followed we lost our focus. Instead of focusing on Al Qaeda we determined that we needed a target with boundaries, we needed to focus our attention on a country we could see rather than faceless terrorists that could be hidden throughout the world's vast population. While the majority of the country had to return to its normal day-to-day life, Washington was scared. And any threat whether or not it was credible added to the anxiety. 9/11 gave certain government agencies the excuse needed to end or curtail basic freedoms Americans expected. Privacy was one victim of 9/11. Under the Patriot Act the government claimed the right to Library records, records of phone and internet usage, and the right to search and seizure without notice. 9/11 also provided the government with a reason to torture post 9/11 detainees, while they downplayed the inhuman cruelty of a practice that did not lead to the capture of Osama bin Laden.Playing on fear these government agencies grabbed power that was not theirs and refuse to let it go. But many Americans are unaware of what they have lost in the decade following 9/11. Civil liberties and Constitutional rights have been undermined in the name of the war on terror.To truly fight terrorists and Al Qaeda we must focus on the needs of the outside world. We must care about the needs of Asia, Africa, Central and South America. We should be reaching out to the people of these countries. What happens in one is not isolated to only that country. Terrorists have no boarders, they go where they can do the most to promote their cause. Americans cannot assume that everyone knows English. We must make an effort to learn the languages of others, to understand their culture. Americans suffer from the notion that they have a “divine role” and that they are “the ideal experiment in government and nation building” a notion held since its founding. America has an arrogance about her place in the world, but do nothing to help others. We must reach out and attempt to bridge the gap that divides us from the rest of the world.As the years have past since 9/11 America has turned its focus inward. The wake-up call of that September morning in 2001 has faded. America is returning to its sleeping state of oblivion. Unless we make a change in how we conduct our day-to-day living, our education system, our government, and our media coverage – we will forever remain vulnerable to terror and we will have no one to blame but ourselves. We received our wake-up call but did we heed it? Just as ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking it neither can we claim ignorance of the world as an excuse for ignoring ir.While America Sleeps is an intriguing look at Washington and how it is run. The power wielded by a few is the greatest danger to fixing what is broken. But the greatest power lies not in who is elected, but in those who are behind the scenes, those who have financial power. While America Sleeps is not light reading. It is thoughtfully and provokingly written is such a manner as to awaken the reader to the dangers that are both within and without. America must remember this warning from Proverbs 18:12 Before his downfall, a man's heart is proud.This title was provided as a Digital ARC loan for the purpose of this review.

  • Kent
    2019-03-17 03:16

    Feingold misses the chance to deliver something of value in a book touted to be his statement on America's ongoing policies towards international relations in general and the war on terror specifically. He reaches some equity in doling out blame to many parties, including Congress, the Bush Administration and the Obama Administration for many of our institutional and national failures.A sizable portion of the book was simply a screed on the Bush Presidency, which section was, of course, of little value. Any thinking adult already recognizes its shortcomings and doesn't need them spelled out.The recap of his many years of service in the United States Senate is rather dry and drives the reader to disinterest. Too bad, because, in spite of my mostly opposing political viewpoints, I sense that the former senator is a decent person with valuable insights. He just fails to make a strong case for any of his positions, ideas or suggestions and only wanders around the edges in this book.I do agree with Feingold's feelings that Americans are generally lazy about understanding other cultures and languages. I think he is correct that we need to do a better job of assimilating into global relations with more humility and acceptance, as opposed to flaunting our supposed dominance. Feingold just isn't very convincing and leaves off with citing his own laziness in learning languages as a primary example.The book did not meet my hopeful expectations.

  • Kb
    2019-03-05 22:19

    One, I wish this book didn't exist because then Feingold would be my Senator instead of the moron we have now. Two, because of the current political clusterfuck in Wisconsin, I am so sick of politicians telling me how awesome we are. Because we're not. Look at the mess we're in. Stop pandering to me.I'm also disappointed at how little Feingold engages with the major debates concerning the war on terror now. While he calls for Americans to engage with the world, he says zero on how our drone program affects the world. The Peace Corps are well and good but it's not going to help the loss people feel when US drones blow up an Afghan wedding party.For a guy who was so passionate while in office, he seems strangely not out of office.

  • Steve
    2019-03-23 02:10

    Still in the process of reading this book, what I've read so far makes me want Russ to run for President. If memory serves me correctly he was the only Senator to read the Patriot Act and voted against it.

  • Kaia
    2019-03-17 03:20

    It's part love letter to Wisconsin, part political memoir, part solutions for the future. I think that Russ Feingold is amazing.

  • Genny
    2019-03-16 02:34

    I just picked this one up at the library today. I am just going to say now, before I have even read this book...that Russ Feingold is one of political idols.

  • Anna Murray
    2019-02-28 22:15

    About halfway through. I wish he had more depth to this book. So much of his criticism of the Iraq war is based solely on emotion. He has not so far addressed the allegations of violations of UN Security Council resolutions by Hussein. Nor does Feingold, up to this point in the book, address the takeover of Iraq by Islamists which resulted from our rapid removal of troops in that country. Perhaps that outcome was not obvious as of the publication of the book, but it does undermine the prescience of Mr. Feingold and the viability of the foreign policy which he espouses.Just a little further along. I must say, I find his opposition to the Patriot Act based on its length (over 200 pages) and breadth and constitutional violations quite rich in light of his support for Obamacare!Finally finished and I couldn't wait to get to the end! Not because I wanted to learn his ultimate conclusion, but because I was so tired of the droning drivel! Glad that's over.

  • Mlg
    2019-03-01 23:19

    Former Senator Feingold discusses what happened in the aftermath of 9/11. Some of the hearings and votes he discusses add depth and context to some of the debates we are currently having on issues like the NSA. He emerges as such a principled individual, knowledgeable about world leaders and foreign policy, that it is hard to believe that Wisconsinites turned him out of office. He's one of the few who have left Washington and not gotten involved in the prosperous business of lobbying.His chapters on the rise of the Tea Party and the advent of incivility in his public listening sessions are particularly illuminating. After reading this, it's hard to believe anyone would want to go into public service and have to put up with the kind of rudeness he experienced from his constituents. One can only hope that he will return to public office soon, America needs individuals like him to counter the crazies and the self obsessed narcissists that seem to be flooding into Washington.

  • Jessikalhardy
    2019-02-28 01:09

    This is a great look at the inside world of the Senate during the post 9/11 years. Considering Feingold's political leanings, I thought he was fair in his criticism of the Bush administration. If you want to get a better grasp on American foreign policy through the eyes of a Senator, this is a great read. Feingold understands that our global security threats transcend the nation state, and can no longer be dealt with in a purely territorial fashion. You get the sense that he has great respect for his constituents in Wisconsin and was able to balance their hot button issues with global issues on the national level. It's a shame he lost to a man that thinks global warming is a bunch of hog wash and is up for drilling "responsibly" in the Great Lakes.

  • GB Noth
    2019-02-27 03:09

    Feingold is worth reading, and following, even after this book was published. He's not a flashy guy, but he backed up his claims about focusing on Africa as a key to peace by accepting a special diplomatic position from the president a few years ago. It didn't get coverage, but Russ Feingold stopped wars from being fought. I hear he's running for the senate again.....hint, hint.

  • Manashi
    2019-02-20 03:08

    I must disclose that this book was given to me for free by Goodreads giveaways.First, I am a young adult so this was a new read for me. I entered this the giveaway for this book because I started to learn about the 9-11 in class. This time America's history was a sad one. My parents at that time had only lived in America for a few years; they were immigrants. So, this event effected them greatly;however, they never like to talk about it. I wanted to experiences someone's point of view during that faithful day, and this book gave that to me. It was a wonderful read. It was informing and intriguing , but something in the book was lacking. Maybe it was because i felt that the book focused solely on politics.Though, I would certainly recommend this book.

  • Dawn Bankers
    2019-02-20 01:32

    Well, first off, is it even fair for me to review a book I didn't finish? Let me be clear on why I didn't finish it though. My version was a library e- book and I have yet to figure out how to renew an e-book. I needed more time with this book because, sadly it was a little dry and not at all what I was expecting. I greatly admire my former senator and was looking for some of the same insight and fire he possessed when arguing alone against the Patriot Act. When my loan expired I had yet to find that passion and forward-thinking solutions to our country's problematic image in other countries. In my fantasy land I think maybe he's holding on to all of his best ideas in preparation for the 2016 presidential election.

  • Tim
    2019-03-01 02:23

    Liberal Democrat former Senator Russ Feingold shares a personal story of his experiences and concerns. It is rational personal and sprinkled with fascinating stories about politicians on the Left and Right. Feingold is honest and I loved how he shared his experiences in listening meetings throughout his native Wisconsin.Feingold's concerns for the budget deficit, health care costs and other core political issues are well thought through and worth reading - even for conservatives. His stories on the lack of respect in politics are very concerning.

  • Gerald Kinro
    2019-03-12 22:33

    The former Wisconsin senator relates his experiences and interactions following 9-1-1. It includes dealings with fellow senators and administration officials. He concludes with his suggestions for the country to reach out to the world and for individuals to do the same with a big part of that hand being the study of a foreign language. I found it to be very well written and interesting. It affirms my belief that our congress is grossly over-compensated and in dire need of term limits.

  • Cathy Smith
    2019-03-02 03:09

    I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads. I learned a great deal with this book, seeing another side that most Americans don't get to see. So much goes on "behind the scenes" that we never hear about until a book is written, etc. It was well written, but some parts were just a little technical and difficult to understand, since he wrote in senator-speak. But, overall, it was a good learning experience.

  • Jesse
    2019-02-24 03:21

    Insight into America's failure to have proper focus on and engagement with the rest of the world, and the consequences it has for us. Great book. I have an ARC so it may be slightly different than the retail version, but it is a good look at the inside of Washington politics, especially post-9/11 . . . without being completely obsessed with the single event. I'm a Feingold fanboy though, so take that how you will.

  • Wesley Korpela
    2019-03-10 01:21

    Russ Feingold is arguably one of the most progressive politicians America has seen in years. This book not only shows his truly genuine and intelligent grasp on foreign policy but also what makes him the man he is. It reveals his deep love of Wisconsin, even when he was running a losing reelection campaign against our "wonderful" senator, Ron Johnson. Far from being a memoir that wraps up his political career, it shows how much more he has to offer in national and Wisconsin politics.

  • Mark Sinnott
    2019-03-21 04:27

    This book read like a 300 page campaign speech, but still, it is hard to believe that Russ didn't get re-elected in 2010. He tells his personal story beginning at 9/11 through the present day and makes some really great points about our national security, our tactics in fighting the war on terror and about America's ignorance towards the rest of the world. He makes many shout-outs to Wisconsin, but it is easy to see that his eye is still on the national stage.

  • Katrina
    2019-03-21 22:22

    As a fan of Feingold, I wanted to like this more but I think he should stick to being a politician...if possible. While some may be really interested in the everyday actions of politicians preceding and following 9/11, it was too detailed and not as philosophical as I was expecting/would have liked.

  • Lindsey
    2019-03-13 03:25

    Russ is a classy guy. Even if you disagree with him on some of his legislative decisions, I encourage you to read this book and hear him out. He presents his arguments very well. It was also fun to read his anecdotes about being a Senator in my home state. It certainly made me miss him in the Senate!

  • Trashy Dreams
    2019-03-08 00:29

    I agree with pretty much everything Feingold says, but he's so patient and even-handed that it's frustrating sometimes. I feel like if he actually sounded pissed this book would have more balls, and it'd be a little more engaging. He counters absurdity and corruption with patience and logic, which is good (and rare in politics) but it made for sort of a slow read.

  • Jimmie
    2019-02-21 23:21

    Brilliant commentary from one of my favorite political heroes. Sadly, Feingold is correct in writing that most Americans have little interest in the world beyond the borders of our country. While America sleeps is true.

  • Grandma Sue
    2019-03-19 20:18

    Had a chance to hear him speak this week and could not resist learning more about his life as a senator. My son, who lives in Madison, says he still out polls every Wisconsin politican...yet he doesn't seem to be planning a run.

  • Stephanie Phipps
    2019-03-09 22:11

    This Wisconsin civil servant makes several good points about American politics. No matter what party you claim, his points are universal and warrant further implementation.

  • Elyse
    2019-03-21 23:29

    This had some interesting ideas in it, but they weren't always fully developed and the writing style was pretty boring.

  • John
    2019-02-21 01:10

    I like Feingold, and while he raised interesting points here, I felt as though he were writing this for himself, as much as to inform the American public.