The Mirage Man: Bruce Ivins, the Anthrax Attacks, and America's Rush to War - David Willman

David Willman’s The Mirage Man (Random House, $27) has not gotten the attention it deserves, perhaps because some of those in Willman’s cross-hairs are his fellow journalists. But this is an important piece of investigate reporting by a Pulitzer Prize- winning (and old-school) investigative reporter for The Los Angeles Times. In exploring the bizarre events and investigation surrounding the anthrax attacks after 9/11, Willman’s reporting shows how and why the people and institutions—from politicians to the news media to the FBI—entrusted with the protection of the public, failed in their duties. In the hands of such a skilled reporter, the story becomes a cautionary tale as much as an exposé. We learn from The Mirage Man what happens when emotion, hysteria, and collective psychology infuse judgment and decision-making. And we are reminded that it is not simply institutions, or laws, or regulations that must work to protect the public. It is rational, dispassionate thinking on the part of human beings—and reliance on good old- fashioned evidence—that are desperately required.