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Carl Weinberg
OAH Magazine of History

Last modified: Tuesday, September 6, 2011

'OAH Magazine of History' offers teaching resources for 9/11

Sept. 6, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- History teachers seeking ideas and knowledge for teaching about the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks may want to turn to the current issue of Organization of American Historians Magazine of History. The themed issue, "September 11: Ten Years After," features articles and educational resources that put the attacks in historical perspective.

They address a range of topics, including the legacy of 9/11 for Muslims in America, the impact on domestic politics, contentiousness surrounding 9/11 memorials, debates over human rights and torture, and Hollywood's changing treatment of American foreign policy and warfare.

Magazine of History 9/11

Published by Oxford University Press for the Organization of American Historians (OAH), the magazine makes historical scholarship available to teachers in high schools, community colleges and four-year colleges and universities, as well as the general public. The OAH is based in Bloomington, Ind. and has a decades-long affiliation with the Department of History in the IU College of Arts and Sciences.

Mary L. Dudziak, a professor of law, history and political science at the University of Southern California and the editor of a 2003 volume on the 9/11 attacks as history, served as consulting editor for this issue.

A central question for the magazine issue is whether, as was often said, the 9/11 attacks "changed everything."

"This really is something people are debating," said Carl Weinberg, editor of the magazine. "We're hoping the magazine can contribute to informed debate on the topic."

Michael Sherry's article "A War 'unlike any other'? America and the World since September 11" addresses the issue explicitly. The attacks were shocking, horrifying and unexpected, he writes, and they led the U.S. into wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But government leaders insisted on normalcy, refusing even to raise taxes for the "global war on terror," and partisan politics continued unabated. The result, Sherry writes, was that "everything had changed, and nothing really had: This gap between the profession of shock and the performance of normality shaped the post-9/11 landscape. It was perhaps the biggest discontinuity to emerge after 9/11."

In other articles, Laura McEnaney explores changing concepts of "homeland," Moustafa Bayoumi writes about the targeting of American Muslims and Erika Doss examines disagreement over memorials at Ground Zero. Also, Lary May contrasts post-World War II "victory culture" with recent Hollywood films; Martin S. Flaherty suggests engaging students with documents on human-rights issues; Claire Potter provides a guide to using the September 11 Digital Archive in the classroom; and Ralph Young shares his experience of organizing a decade-long series of teach-ins at Temple University.

Angel Flores-Rodríguez, an IU graduate student and assistant editor of the magazine, writes about major league baseball player Carlos Delgado's silent protest in the wake of 9/11.

For more information about the magazine and free access to selected articles, see