"Exile" Delivers With Power and Grace: Book Review
Readers might be familiar with the investigative journalism of Janet Phelan. Her reporting has appeared in various mainstream and alternative media publications, primarily in the areas of conservatorship, as well as her international coverage of bioweapons.
What readers probably don't know is how closely intertwined her research is with her personal life.
Exile is Janet Phelan's 350-page personal testimony of the lengths to which the intelligence community will go to surveil and intimidate. As her harrowing personal story unfolds, so too the unfolding implications for all American citizens.
The first third of Janet Phelan's story begins at the dawn of the millennium as she finds herself out of work following a series of "coincidences" in which a multitude of shadowy players begin to wreak havoc with her life.
Her ensuing soul searching and desire to escape a growing destructive cycle is told in a unique introspective and existential weaving of memoir, poetry and adventure. It is an account that takes the reader with her across the country amid bouts of financial destitution, and eventually to locales abroad as she seeks to restart what has been derailed.
Never far from her journey is the backdrop of her family - her mother who becomes a potential victim of elder abuse; and her father whose own journalistic integrity spurs Janet on to uncover and communicate the truth behind the many facades of justice in which she has become entangled.
The latter sections of Exile highlight why this otherwise personal account is a must-read for all concerned Americans, especially in a post-9/11 world where the gloves have come off and even frayed legal protections have been abandoned completely.
Exile documents a government that is willing to issue kill orders on non-terrorist targets who are American citizens residing within its borders. Moreover, even for those wishing to drop off the radar by residing abroad, Exile issues a cautionary tale about just how long the reach of persecution can extend in order to deny legal rights and recourse to those who have been targeted.
Readers of alternative media will find themselves recognizing the threatening signposts as they begin to emerge from this fast-paced recounting of events. For those who might not be familiar with topics such conservatorship, the use of mental health facilities as de facto prisons, or the various methods of bioweapons delivery, ample historical precedent is offered for further study.
Readers will be led through the evidence - including nearly 50 pages of exhibits - that the journey of one individual is but a microcosm of the larger journey we are all traveling amid the turmoil of the Middle East, the War on Terror, and the complex global chessboard of political power.
In the author's words:
This story unmasks America at a time when her imperial efforts, all in the name of defending and spreading democracy, have resulted in a centralization of power on a global scale hitherto unknown in our history books.
Exile bears testament to the perseverance and faith required to live free during such a time, as the veil continues to lift and reveal something far removed from that which first lured us into its embrace.
Exile is available at The Book Patch.