"Soccer Moms" are so last decade. Juliette Kayyem is a "Security Mom." A national security expert who worked at the highest levels of government, and also a mom of three, she's lived it all--from the fears of being a target of an anthrax hoax, to the challenges of managing the BP Oil spill, to the more intimate challenges of defeating lice in her children's hair--and now she tells it all. Weaving her personal story of marriage and motherhood into a fast-paced account of managing the nation's most compelling disasters, Juliette recounts the milestones that mark the path of her unpredictable, daring, funny, and ultimately relatable life.
In her insider's look at American emergency and disaster management, Juliette distills years of professional experience into smart, manageable guidelines for keeping your family safe in an unpredictable world. From stocking up on coloring books to stashing duplicate copies of valuable papers out of state, Juliette's wisdom does more than just prepare us to survive in an age of mayhem--it empowers us to thrive. Her message, the result of years working where tragedy has thrived, is ultimately positive: starting in our homes, each of us--every mom, dad, aunt, uncle, yes every citizen--has the capacity to build a more resilient nation.
Security Mom is an utterly modern tale about the highs and lows of having-it-all parenthood and a candid, sometimes shocking, behind-the-scenes look inside the high-stakes world of national security. Unlike so many in her field who seem invested on terrifying citizens into paralysis, Juliette's motto has always been "don't scare, prepare " In her signature refreshing style, Juliette reveals how she came to learn that homeland security is not simply about tragedy and terror; it is about what we can do every day to keep each other strong and safe.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-03-21
- Reviewer: Staff
As Kayyem admits in this lively debut, she is a “security mom”—a member of a voting bloc, first identified in 2004, of suburban mothers “really, really worried about terrorism.” She is also a consummate insider: former Assistant Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, on the faculty at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and head of her own security advising company. She knows what can happen during local and national emergencies, and how best to prepare families and communities. Kayyem advocates that Americans develop “grip”—an active form of resiliency by which we can “prepare, respond, adapt, and then brace for the next thing.” Her accessible, appealing personal narrative includes a Lebanese-American upbringing, Harvard undergrad and law school years, married life in Washington, D.C., a stint in the Clinton administration’s Justice Department, and overseeing both a growing family (she’s now a mother of three) and burgeoning career back in Cambridge, Mass. Kayyem bolsters her own story with real-life case studies, from the 9/11 terrorist attacks to the Boston Marathon bombing (nearly in her own backyard), and plenty of enthusiastic “can-do” advice. While not exactly the average security mom, Kayyem identifies with and is a leading voice for the worry-prone parents who will most appreciate her memoir. (Apr.)