911 for Beginners


One of my Taiwanese students was watching The West Wing” and had some questions for me. Blaming the poor coverage of America’s War on Terror in the Taiwanese press for not knowing more (a perfectly valid excuse), she asked:

Did the patriotic passion change into hatred after 911 in US? Or the hatred existed long time ago? And if there was hatred, do the hatred end recently after four years later that Bush sending army into Afghanistan?

I went to New York in 2002. The security at the airport was very restricted. I was getting a body search myself that make me wonder how people from the Mid-east be treated? In this episode, there’s an Afghanistan employee of the white house whom was the first suspect after the event. Even if the person had nothing to do with the event. He was treated as a criminal.

Last, what books or essays (websites) that you recommend for reading about 911 and the society of US today?

I immediately thought of three things that she could start with:

I also recommended the website. And I offered to meet with students to talk with them more about the subject if they like; but this got me thinking — most of what I’ve read about post-911 America is written by Americans, for Americans. What would be a good introduction for someone less familiar with American history that could help them understand the impact of 911 on contemporary American society? 911 for Beginners”?

Please offer your suggestions in the comments section. Thanks!

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