Tom Ridge with Lary Bloom
Thomas Dunne Books
TO THE FIELDS OF SHANKSVILLE
Most people in counterterrorism were talking about the likelihood of a doomsday scenario involving germ warfare or nuclear weapons. We feared that something would happen on a terrifying scale, but not that it would be done with conventional tactics—hijacking—that is reminiscent of the 1970s.
National Commission on Terrorism
On the morning of September 11, 2001, as governor of Pennsylvania, I was unaware of the drama playing out in the cloudless sky overhead. I did not know that the Pennsylvania State
"In his memoir, The Test of Our Times, Tom Ridge, an exemplary public servant, provides a fascinating account of leading the first Department of Homeland Security in a confused and fearful time, as Washington struggled to adapt its bureaucracies and politics to threats it had only dimly perceived until mass murderers struck us on September 11. Tom has written a first draft of history and it’s a very memorable one."
—Senator John McCain
"DHS remains a work in progress, and Ridge's singular perspective recommends his memoir to policy makes, students and concerned citizens."
“This is that rarest of political memoirs—it neither self-aggrandizes nor settles scores. Rather, it is a shrewd, unsparingly honest assessment of the mistakes and successes of the author and the rest of the Bush Administration’s homeland security efforts. Even more valuable, it provides vital, specific guidance to the current administration and the public on securing our country while protecting our freedoms. This is the best book yet on the subject.”
—Tony Blankley, Washington Times columnist; co-host of Left, Right, and Center; author of The West’s Last Chance: Will We Win the Clash of Civilizations?
“Tom Ridge, the unsung hero of keeping America safe after 9/11, has given us a vivid memoir of leading the greatest reorganization in American history since the creation of the Defense Department.”
—Dr. David Abshire, President and CEO, Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress
“Tom Ridge’s inside account of the rock-and-a-hard-place choices our country had to make in the aftermath of 9-11 is a great read – and an eye-opening tour through the thicket of policy, bureaucratic and political hurdles a robust democracy faces when it confronts these choices. My only quibble is that Ridge is characteristically too modest about the personal sacrifices he made in agreeing to tackle this thankless job.”
—Steven Brill, founder of Court TV, American Lawyer magazine, and Brill Enterprises; author of After: The Rebuilding and Defending of America in the September 12 Era
“Every law enforcement officer, firefighter, medical responder, as well as all Americans, should read this book.”
—Leroy D. Baca, Sheriff, County of Los Angeles
“This is a memoir with a clear purpose: to educate the reader about the extraordinary efforts of dedicated public servants to build an institution vital to America’s national security. Tom Ridge describes unknown successes and struggles, and explores the persistent obstacles to achieving a safer country with candor, honesty, and integrity. I would expect no less from this dedicated and remarkable public servant.”
—Lee H. Hamilton, Vice-Chair of the 9/11 Commission, President and Director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; co-author of Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission
“As the man who created U.S. homeland security in the post 9-11 era, [Tom Ridge] is also the man who can most authoritatively recount how it happened, where we are now, and what still needs to be done. In a candid voice, he does all of that in The Test of Our Time. This is a book which lets the political chips fall where they may. Ridge also fills this important and readable account with pithy anecdotes, self-deprecating humor, compassion and a critical eye to the personalities of those historical events which are still being played out in these very dangerous times.”
—Barry Casselman, syndicated columnist and author of North Star Rising, Minnesota Politicians on the National Stage
“As the Canadian counterpart to Tom Ridge following 9/11, I quickly learned that he was one of those rare political leaders who was all about action rather than talk. A patriot and a public servant to his core, Tom is a pragmatic and practical problem-solver, a man whose word could be counted on and who truly made his country safer. His is a compelling story that shows that good people can make a positive difference through commitment to public life.”
—John Manley, former Deputy Prime Minister