I am curious how she addresses the post 9-11 world (here is an op-ed with some clues), and have really just started the book. But her introduction included a paragraph on the immediate aftermath of 9-11 that was too good.
It starts with the observation that immediately after, everyone wanted to compare the event to Pearl Harbor and hoped, I think, that this event would bring us all together in some ethic of shared sacrifice. I think most of us thought that. We too thought this might be
"... a long awaited crucible in which self-absorbed Americans would, at long last, be forged into the twenty-first century's stoic army of the latest Greatest Generation. But the summons to actual sacrifice never came. No draft ensued, no Rosie the Riveters were called to duty, no ration cards issued, no victory gardens planted. Most of all, no official moral leadership emerged to challenge Americans to think constructively about our place in the world, to redefine civic commitment and public responsibility. There was no man in a wheelchair in the White House urging on us a reassessment of American strength and weakness. What we had was a chest beater in a borrowed flight suit, instructing us to max out our credit cards for the cause."
I would echo the lack of moral leadership and would further suggest that not only were we not called to think constructively about our place in the world, but were explicitly told not to. Well, unless we were a fat stupid televangelist. Otherwise, any self-reflection on America's role in the world was met with the charge of "blame America firsters" or some such nonsense. Any introspection was bad. There was nothing to learn from how we interacted with the Taliban before, or our role in the developing world. Nothing. Bush instead gave us vapid observations about terrorists hating us for "our freedom," all the while urging his administration to reduce our said freedoms.
It is perhaps the saddest of opportunities lost. A world once united behind us now sees us as one led by a dumb cowboy preacher. Worse, a dumb cowboy preacher who likes to invade countries while swaggering. History will not be kind to this President.