I could use your help. If you read this blog, then, since the blog is designed around my research program, by definition you are interested in the same things I spend all my time reading about. It has occured to me that it makes some sense, given the number of recent or relatively recent books I read on a regular basis, that from time to time I should post about some of them, especially the more obscure that may not be reviewed or get a lot of buzz elsewhere but that someone who reads this site regularly might find interesting or useful. The stack I'm going through just to prep up my next semester classes (if I ever actually get through them) includes a number that I think would be interesting to other folks.
If I am going to do this from time to time, I would like to make it possible for you to purchase these books, should you decide to do so, via this site. This would work as follows: every time I am ready to write about a particular book, an image of it will go up and if you click on the image via the blog that will take you directly to Amazon. Buying the book this way won't cost you any more than just logging onto Amazon directly, but it will mean that I can get a small portion of the proceeds from Amazon. So, if you wouldn't mind doing it this way, you would be doing me a great favor, and helping to support this site.
THE FIRST BOOK: SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
I love this book. I have used it as a textbook in every class I have taught since 9/11 and, as far as I know, the kids aren't trying to sell it back -- they all tell me they're keeping their copies. Essentially, a few days after September 11th, the Poynter Institute, which is an outfit dedicated to serving journalists, on-going professional education, web based resources, so forth, sent out an email to as many American newspapers as they could (and even a few foreign ones) asking if the papers would be willing to contribute the plates for their front page from September 12th. Those front pages are reproduced here, state by state, everything from The New York Times, to small city newspapers with circulations of 50,000, even a college paper or two.
A grant secured by Poynter allowed them to produce the book cheaply, as a paperback, but with high quality paper. There's no commentary, no cloying over sentimentalizing essays, just the introductory essay from the Institute that explains their project. I don't think of this as some kind of "coffee table book." I have written before about the need to remember September 11th, and turning through the pages of this book is a powerful way to evoke how we felt that day and in the days after. But for whatever reason, maybe because at one point there was such a glut of September 11th books on the market, it has received very little attention that I'm aware of since it came out. Indeed, I stumbled across it utterly by accident.