[A] barnburner of a new book ... Ackerman contends that the American response to 9/11 made President Trump possible. The evidence for this blunt-force thesis is presented in Reign of Terror with an impressive combination of diligence and verve, deploying Ackerman’s deep stores of knowledge as a national security journalist to full effect. The result is a narrative of the last 20 years that is upsetting, discerning and brilliantly argued ... [A] revelatory book.
The book argues powerfully that the open-ended War on Terror has been an exceptionalist fantasy, a bipartisan failure, and a profound risk to American democracy ... The result of nearly two decades of reporting on the wars from a skeptical position, Reign of Terror is attuned to their costs ... One aspect of the book that is both unusual and important is that Ackerman gives attention to the lives of people on the wrong end of U.S. violence, human beings who remain shockingly unfamiliar to most Americans ... In the genre of books that seek to explain why we are in the mess we are in, Reign of Terror is a formidable entry. To those who want to portray Trump as wholly exceptional, and discontinuous with the recent past, the book is an essential corrective ... Ackerman’s book lands at a pivotal moment.
Ackerman provides an in-depth examination of the national security policy of the United States in the 20 years since 9/11 ... Unapologetically partisan and polemical, Reign of Terror is Ackerman’s take-no-prisoners attack on policies of the 'Security State' ... Ackerman provides detailed documentation of his claim that the legacy of the War on Terror isn’t limited to disastrous foreign military deployments.