Bushnell, former U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, was meeting with the Kenyan Trade Minister on August 7, 1998, when al-Qaeda bombed the embassy in Nairobi, killing twelve embassy staff and more than two hundred Kenyans. Hit by flying glass and briefly unconscious, Bushnell began overseeing rescue operations as soon as she was able, and then pressed American and Kenyan authorities for explanations to how this attack—and the concurrent one in Tanzania—could have happened, given that bin Laden’s Nairobi cell had been under surveillance since 1996. Her memoir is an illuminating inside look at ineffective national security strategies, assumptions about terrorism, and misperceptions of Islamic radicalism that are still largely in place two decades after the bombings. Now retired from the Foreign Service, Bushnell is founder of the Levitt Leadership Institute at Hamilton College.