Almost eight months to the day after the ouster of President Mubarak on February 11th another dramatic set of events set Cairo ablaze. This time, it was not the “people” who were pushing against a corrupt regime but unidentified forces that pushed the army, the riot police, the plainclothes police and some of the 165,000 gangsters who were previously employed by Mubarak (and apparently were still on someone’s payroll), to violently attack a peaceful Coptic Christian demonstration.
The death of Muammar al-Qaddafi and the end of his rule in Libya marks the end of an era. Our untiring colleague in International History, Jeremi Suri, blogs about the historical background.
Occupy Wall Street has captured national attention for over a month now. In fact, the durable energy of the movement—which has cropped up across the country, including here in Austin—has led some media outlets to argue that it is the most important left-of-center movement of its type since the 1960s.
“How tall is too tall, how safe is safe enough? Before September 11, Americans thought little about such questions. And then the most extraordinary buildings in New York City burned and collapsed in front of a worldwide audience.”
Sometimes when historians disagree there are fundamental issues at stake; sometimes differences of interpretation. Often the evidence is still being gathered, so any interpretation is open to revision. From a historical point of view, ten years is not a very long time, yet it is time enough to begin trying to explain the consequences of a major event like the attacks of September 11.
In 2001, I was a junior at the Bronx High School of Science in New York City. On the morning of September 11th, I was sitting in my second period AP US History class, taught by Dr. Melvin Maskin. On days when he was feeling particularly enthusiastic about a lesson, he’d scrawl things like, “The Doc is IN DA HOUSE” on the blackboard. He was always doing things like that: making silly jokes or referencing song lyrics in tests, to get us excited about settling in for a class period of history.
This week we will use the blog at Not Even Past to talk about the 9/11/01 attacks, their history and their legacy. We begin with an essay by Rachel Herrmann.