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Revised “Books for Understanding: September 11” Resource Published

University Presses Mark Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 with Bibliographies that Illuminate Critical Scholarship

NEW YORK, NY—The Association of American University Presses (AAUP) marks the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks this week with an updated and revised “Books for Understanding: September 11, 2001” resource. Originally published the week after the 2001 attacks as a guide to scholarship on such disparate but deeply relevant topics as terrorism, the World Trade Center, Afghanistan, foreign policy, and political Islam, this bibliography now lists almost 1100 titles by leading scholars from 78 university presses.

The newly revised book list includes a comprehensive guide to new works that examine the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, from the immediate experiences of witnesses and first responders, to the effect of the attacks on international relations and civil liberties. Titles include:

  • Until the Fires Stopped Burning: 9/11 and New York City in the Words and Experiences of Survivors and Witnesses, by Charles Strozier (Columbia University Press, 2011);
  • Arab Detroit 9/11: Life in the Terror Decade, edited by Nabeel Abraham, Sally Howell, and Andrew Shryock (Wayne State University Press, 2011);
  • 9/11: The Culture of Commemoration, by David Simpson (University of Chicago Press, 2006).

Immediately following the 9/11 attacks, Sanford Thatcher, then director of Penn State University Press, noticed a surge of request for two older books on terrorism. He approached AAUP with a request to compile a larger bibliography from all AAUP member presses to serve people looking for information and insight.

In the years since, “Books for Understanding” has become a key public program of the Association, publishing 44 bibliographies on the background to various events and topics in the news. Recent additions include “Egypt,” following the January revolution, “The Supreme Court,” compiled after the appointment of Justice Elena Kagan, and “Oil,” in response to last summer’s disastrous spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

“University and scholarly publishers are often in the position of having already published books on subjects central to understanding new and difficult situations,” said Peter Givler, AAUP Executive Director, in 2001. “One of our core missions is to serve society and scholarship through the dissemination of basic research and analysis – as well as promoting works that assist in the understanding of cultures, policies, and historical consequences throughout the world.”

The lists have been designed for use by general readers, as well as by scholars, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and journalists. All listed books are available and can be found online directly from the presses, or from libraries and booksellers around the globe.


The Association of American University Presses is an organization of more than 130 non-profit scholarly publishers, dedicated to the support of creative and effective scholarly communications. Through its programs and information resources, AAUP helps its members fulfill their common commitments to scholarship, the academy, and society.

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Regan Colestock
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