20th Anniversary of September 11, 2001

This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001. Twenty years ago, almost 3,000 people were killed when two planes were flown into the two towers of the World Trade Center in New York, along with a third plane hitting the Pentagon and the fourth crashing into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks triggered major U.S. initiatives to combat terrorism with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and an American-led international effort to oust the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, known as Operation Enduring Freedom. This books provide insights to the trauma of September 11.

Trauma at Home: After 9/11 (Bison Books, 2003) edited by Judith Greenberg confront September 11 from a variety of personal, cultural, scholarly, and clinical perspectives. Bringing together wide-ranging reflections on understanding, representing, and surviving trauma, the book offers readers an array of analyses of the overwhelming events. Collectively these essays replace the silence of shock and disbelief with the possibility of dialogue—even as they also recognize the impossibility of providing a single cohesive narrative for the trauma of September 11.

America and Europe After 9/11 and Iraq: The Great Divide, Revised and Updated Edition (Potomac Books, 2008) by Sarwar A. Kashmeri & with a foreword by Theodore Roosevelt IV, offers prescriptions for forging a new alliance based on a “special relationship” with the European Union. This agenda is inspired by those leaders who spoke to the author specifically for this book, among them former president George H. W. Bush, former British prime minister John Major, James A. Baker III, Wesley K. Clark, Brent Scowcroft, Paul Volcker, U.S. senator Chuck Hagel, and Caspar W. Weinberger.

Plotting Justice: Narrative Ethics and Literary Culture after 9/11 (Nebraska, 2012) by Georgiana Banita reveals links between the narrative ethics of post-9/11 fiction and events preceding and following the terrorist attacks—events that defined the last half of the twentieth century, from the Holocaust to the Balkan War, and those that 9/11 precipitated, from war in Afghanistan to the Abu Ghraib scandal. Challenging the rhetoric of the war on terror, the book honors the capacity of literature to articulate ambiguous forms of resistance in ways that reconfigure the imperatives and responsibilities of narrative for the twenty-first century. 

Rubble: How the 9/11 Families Rebuilt Their Lives and Inspired America (Potomac Books, 2011) by Bob Kemper makes the ten-year struggle of the 9/11 families come alive in a way that readers will never forget. It is a story about the resilience of the human spirit, the gut-driven determination of those demanding to know why their loved ones died, and the travails they suffered, alone and together, while pressing for answers.

Generation’s End: A Personal Memoir of American Power After 9/11 (Potomac Books, 2010) by Scott L. Malcomson & with a foreword by George Packer examines the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks through the invasion of Iraq in 2003. As the foreign affairs Op-Ed editor for the New York Times during this period, Scott L. Malcomson witnessed the newspaper’s struggles to deal with the threats to its city and to American security. He captures the confusion and bravery of those times with disarming honesty while also providing insight into the shaping of American (and Times) policy. The latter half takes Malcomson to Geneva, where in early 2003 he became senior adviser to the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio Vieira de Mello. 

9/12: The Epic Battle of the Ground Zero Responders (Potomac Books, 2019) by William H. Groner and Tom Teicholz is the saga of the epic, nine-year legal battle waged against the City of New York and its contractors on behalf of more than ten thousand first responders who became ill as a result of working on the Ground Zero cleanup.

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