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9/11 and the War on Terror

David Holloway

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This interdisciplinary study of how 9/11 and the 'war on terror' were represented during the Bush era, shows how culture often functioned as a vital resource, for citizens attempting to make sense of momentous historical events that frequently seemed beyond their influence or control.

Illustrated throughout, the book discusses representation of 9/11 and the war on terror in Hollywood film, the 9/11 novel, mass media, visual art and photography, political discourse, and revisionist historical accounts of American 'empire,' between the September 11 attacks and the Congressional midterm elections in 2006. As well as prompting an international security crisis, and a crisis in international governance and law, David Holloway suggests the culture of the time also points to a 'crisis' unfolding in the institutions and processes of republican democracy in the United States. His book offers a cultural and ideological history of the period.

Key Features

  • Highlights the important roles played by culture and 'representation', in public construction of the meanings of 9/11 and the war on terror
  • Engages with contemporary issues in a clear and accessible style
  • Includes 20 B&W illustrations.


1. History
2. Politics
3. Mass Media
4. Cinema
5. Literature
6. Photography and Visual Art
Appendix A: Timeline
Appendix B: Synoptic biographies
Annotated bibliography of further reading and texts cited.

About the Author

David Holloway is a Senior Lecturer in American Studies at the University of Derby. He is author of The Late Modernism of Cormac McCarthy, and co-editor of American Visual Cultures.


As the terror attacks on the United States become history as well as politics, there is now an opportunity for greater critical thinking on the representation of the event. In this timely and engaging book, David Holloway provides an impressive synchronic account of the meaning and importance of 9/11. It deserves to be widely read by scholars and postgraduates occupying positions in diverse disciplinary locations.
- Tim Dunne, Professor of International Relations, University of Exeter
Providing an incisive and illuminating cultural and ideological analysis of dominant forms of media, culture and representation from the September 11, 2001 terror attacks through the 2006 Congressional elections, 9/11 and the War on Terror engages theoretical discourses and analyses of the event, media representation, including a chapter on cinema, and how 9/11 played out in literature and photography and visual art. The result is an excellent cultural history of our epoch full of original insight and interpretation.
- Professor Douglas Kellner, UCLA

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