Texts about 9/11 and the War on Terror

Speeches

9/11 Address to the Nation

George W. Bush’s 9/11 Address to the Nation explores topics like the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, hope, and the American spirit. These topics are inspired by the circumstances of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which brought sadness and grief to the American people but also the need to defend their country and its core principles.

George W. Bush's War on Terror Speech

It is a political speech delivered shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Consequently, the main topic of the speech is the war against terrorism, which was declared by President George W. Bush in the wake of these events. In connection with this overall topic, the speaker explores themes such as solidarity, violence and terrorism, and freedom and democracy.

President George W. Bush's 2002 State of the Union Address

George W. Bush’s 2002 State of the Union address can help you understand the whole concept of the fight against terrorism and America’s position after the 9/11 attacks. 

Bush's intention is to gain the Congress’ and the American public’s approval for the measures his administration intends to take against terrorism and states that support terrorism. In particular, Bush wants them to approve his budget and proposed legislative reforms.

Tony Blair's Speech on Terror

Tony Blair’s Speech on Terror following the 2005 London bombings can help you understand the UK government’s position on terrorism. The speech focuses on the way terrorism is based on religious fanaticism and gains adherents by using misleading propaganda. Blair also discusses how terrorism and extremism can be countered through projects within Britain and abroad. 

On War and Redemption

The article “On War and Redemption” by Timothy Kudo explores issues related to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder affecting soldiers who were deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The article is a personal story of Kudo’s experiences in Afghanistan. The article points to some of the consequences of the War on Terror. 

Short stories

Bangana

This short story by the American author CJ Hauser is focused on an American woman who works as a drone operator. As she is observing suspected terrorists and contemplating whether to order a strike, her reflections keep skipping between her own family in the US and the family she observes in Afghanistan, leading to an inner conflict.

My Son the Fanatic

As the title suggests, this short story by Hanif Kureishi explores the influences that may pull young people in the direction of religious extremism. It also highlights the cultural conflicts that may arise when an immigrant family is trying to navigate vastly different worlds and belief systems, and how these conflicts may end up pulling the family apart.

Novels

1984

The novel 1984 by the British author George Orwell is a classic science-fiction story which depicts a society dominated by government surveillance. In connection with the NSA scandal, 1984 gained renewed popularity, as many felt its dark vision of the future echoed current realities of American society. 

Falling Man | Analysis

In his novel, Don DeLillo explores the events of September 11th  from the terrorist’s perspective as well. The three chapters, “On Marienstrasse”, “In Nokomis”, and “In the Hudson Corridor”, give an insight into the thoughts of one of the terrorists behind the attacks on the World Trade Center.

Other texts

Below are further suggestions for texts and movies that may be relevant when working with 9/11 and the War on Terror. We do not currently have study guides for these titles, but maybe you can be inspired to look for some of them yourself.

  • Barack Obama - Speech on the 15th Anniversary of 9/11
  • Barack Obama - 2013 Speech on The Future of The War on Terror
  • Donald Trump - Speech on the 17th Anniversary of 9/11
  • McEwan, Ian - Saturday (book)
  • Bergen, Peter - The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda (book)
  • Michael Moore - Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004 documentary)
  • The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear (2004 BBC documentary)
  • Rob McGann - American Zeitgeist (2006 documentary)
  • Oliver Stone - Snowden (2016 documentary)