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Richard Doty

Joanne Meyerowitz
Journal of American History

Last modified: Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Special issue of history journal focuses on Sept. 11 attacks

A special issue of the Journal of American History has just been published that focuses on last year's Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The journal is published by the Organization of American Historians that is headquartered at Indiana University. The journal editor is IU History Professor Joanne Meyerowitz.

"As historians, we devote our careers to placing the seemingly new in historical context," Meyerowitz wrote in the introduction to the special issue. Authors were chosen for their expertise on issues related to "terrorism, anti-Americanism, the Middle East, fundamentalist religious movements and foreign relations. We asked them for deliberative essays, scholarly pieces with deeper research and greater intellectual engagement than what is typically found in newspapers and magazines."

One of the essays, titled "Damming Afghanistan: Modernization in a Buffer State," was written by Nick Cullather, an associate professor of history at IU.

The other essays address a range of topics, including the rhetoric of nationalism and internationalism, the legacies of the Cold War, the ramifications of the Iranian Revolution of 1979, and an oral history of Sept. 11.

"History, we know, is always political, but the history of current events is often more overtly politicized than the history of the distant past," Meyerowitz said. "We realize that some of our readers might well prefer a history that refrains from commenting on current events or broadcasting its political passions, but we expect our readers will also recognize that certain current events demand our immediate attention. After all, we need to invoke the past to make sense of the present and to imagine the future," she said.

For more details on the journal articles, contact Meyerowitz at 812-855-2816 or For information on obtaining the journal, contact Annette Windhorn at 812-855-9854 or The Web site for the Organization of American Historians is at