In the latest issue of Radical History Review, “The Other 9/11: Chile, 1973: Memory, Resistance, and Democratization,” contributors revisit the 1973 Chilean coup d’état that overthrew then-President Salvador Allende and allowed Augusto Pinochet to assume power. The issue foregrounds contemporary debates about freedom, terrorism, and democracy in post-Cold War Latin America.
In recent years, the date 9/11 has become firmly associated with al-Qaeda’s 2001 attacks on the United States and the presumed advent of a new era of global conflict between democracy and fundamentalist jihad.
“The Other 9/11” reminds us not only that other seminal acts of violence occurred on a prior 9/11, beyond the borders of the United States, but that Allende’s 1973 overthrow was an act of documented state-sponsored terror supported by the United States against a democratically elected government. Read the introduction to “The Other 9/11,” made freely available.
Radical History Review has also published scholarship on the September 11 attacks in the United States. In “Historicizing 9/11,” a special issue published in 2011, contributors discuss the meanings of 9/11 and critically investigate ties between memorializing and mythologizing. They probe the contested understanding of the attacks in political rhetoric, policy explanations, culture, and education.
Contributors address topics including the war on terror, changing accounts of 9/11, memorialization, and oral histories of 9/11. The issue also presents two series of original works of art that subversively reflect 9/11. Read the introduction, made freely available, here.
If you’d like to read more scholarship about 9/11 in Chile or in the United States, here are our book recommendations:
Reckoning with Pinochet is the first comprehensive account of how Chile came to terms with General Augusto Pinochet’s legacy of human rights atrocities. Steve J. Stern recounts the full history of Chile’s democratic reckoning, showing how transnational events and networks shaped Chile’s battles over memory, and how the Chilean case contributed to shifts in the world culture of human rights.
Hours after the collapse of the Twin Towers, the idea that the September 11 attacks had “changed everything” permeated American popular and political discussion. In the period since then, the events of September 11 have been used to justify profound changes in U.S. public policy and foreign relations. Bringing together leading scholars of history, law, literature, and Islam, September 11 in History asks whether the attacks and their aftermath truly marked a transition in U.S. and world history or whether they are best understood in the context of pre-existing historical trajectories.
Color coded terror alerts, invasion, drone war, rampant surveillance: all manifestations of the type of new power Brian Massumi theorizes in Ontopower. Through an in-depth examination of the War on Terror and the culture of crisis, Massumi identifies the emergence of preemption, which he characterizes as the operative logic of our time. He provides an original theory of power that explains not only current practices of war but the culture of insecurity permeating our contemporary neoliberal condition.
In Tourists of History, cultural critic Marita Sturken argues that over the past two decades, Americans have responded to national trauma through consumerism, kitsch sentiment, and tourist practices in ways that reveal a tenacious investment in the idea of America’s innocence. Sturken investigates the consumerism that followed from the September 11th attacks; the contentious, ongoing debates about memorials and celebrity-architect designed buildings at Ground Zero; and two outcomes of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City: the Oklahoma City National Memorial and the execution of Timothy McVeigh.
In Orgies of Feeling, Elisabeth R. Anker boldly reframes political theories of sovereignty, freedom, and power by analyzing the work of melodrama and affect in contemporary politics. Arguing that melodrama animates desires for unconstrained power, Anker examines melodramatic discourses in the War on Terror, neoliberal politics, anticommunist rhetoric, Hollywood film, and post-Marxist critical theory. She shows that the discontent that melodrama reflects is ultimately an expression of the public’s inability to overcome systemic exploitation and inequality rather than an alarmist response to inflated threats to the nation.