Two books assess the impact of September 11th on America

Wildland: The Making of American Fury. By Evan Osnos. Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 480 pages; $30. Bloomsbury; £20

Reign of Terror. By Spencer Ackerman. Viking; 448 pages; $30

“ON TUESDAY MORNING, September 11th, from my window in lower Manhattan, I watched the 21st century begin,” wrote Tony Judt, who until his death in 2010 was the English-speaking world’s pre-eminent historian of post-war Europe. Judt taught at New York University; from that window he could have seen two hijacked commercial planes, loaded with passengers, flying into the World Trade Centre’s twin towers. Later that morning another plane crashed into the Pentagon; a fourth, probably intended for either the Capitol or the White House, went down in a field in Pennsylvania after a fight between passengers and hijackers. Nearly 3,000 people died in that day’s atrocities. Another 6,000 were injured.

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