Book - Simon & Schuster

Security Mom: An Unclassified Guide to Protecting Our Homeland and Your Home

| April 2016


It's time to put the "home" back into our homeland. Part prescription and part memoir, this exceptional view of America's security concerns by a leading government Homeland Security advisor, Pulitzer Prize–finalist columnist, CNN analyst and mother of three delivers a message and a plan: security begins at home.

"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.

Praise for Security Mom

"Security Mom could not be a more timely or engaging read. As both mother and homeland security expert, Kayyem weaves together stories that any parent can relate to with a larger and essential point. It is time for Americans to take responsibility themselves for securing their homeland, doing our part as citizens to make us a self-reliant and resilient nation."

— Anne-Marie Slaughter, President and CEO of New America and bestselling author of UNFINISHED BUSINESS

"A unique, personal and readable story about a compelling issue that touches all American families. Whatever your views on security policy, Juliette Kayyem provides important insights into the question: 'Are we safe?'"

— The Honorable Michael Chertoff, Former United States Secretary of Homeland Security

"Insightful, honest and with no shortage of humor, Kayyem's memoir may prove — beyond any government accounting or historical analysis — the most lasting contribution to explaining America's security efforts and engaging our communities for the challenges we will certainly face. She brings it home for all of us."

— Edward Davis, Former Commissioner of the Boston Police Department

"[A] lively debut...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...Kayyem identifies with and is a leading voice for the worry-prone parents who will most appreciate her memoir."

— Publishers Weekly

Related op-eds by Juliette Kayyem:

"How Candidates Can Capture the 'Security Moms',", April 6, 2016

"No, America Isn't 100 Percent Safe from Terrorism. And That's a Good Thing," Washington Post, March 28, 2016

"Is Your Child's School Prepared for an Emergency? 9 Questions to Ask," Boston Globe Magazine, March 22, 2016

About This Book

Security Mom: An Unclassified Guide to Protecting Our Homeland and Your Home

Security Mom: An Unclassified Guide to Protecting Our Homeland and Your Home
For more information on this publication: Please contact International Security
For Academic Citation: Kayyem, Juliette. Security Mom: An Unclassified Guide to Protecting Our Homeland and Your Home. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, April 2016.

The Author

Juliette Kayyem Headshot