It's been twenty years since terrorists intentionally crashed two commercial passenger airplanes into Manhattan's World Trade Center Twin Towers, crashed one passenger plane into the Pentagon, and deliberately crashed one plane in a Pennsylvania field to avoid a takeover by airline passengers. Nine days later, on September 20, President George W. Bush, in a joint address to the House and Senate and broadcast to the American people, declared a “global war on terrorism,” setting the course for United States' international relations for the next couple of decades.
In the days in between, some watched cable news for hours on end. Some put little American flags on their cars to demonstrate their solidarity, their allegiance to the idea of the United States. In Los Angeles, some went to Dockweiler Beach under the LAX flight path to experience the nothingness of all flights grounded and to hear the ocean wash back and forth over the sand as it always has. Everyone mourns in their own way, singularly or collectively, but we all mourned the almost 3,000 people killed on September 11.
The bibliography below represents some of the best book-length writing on the September 11 Terrorist Attacks published in the last twenty years. They include stories of the lead-up to the events, how the horrible day unfolded, the following weeks and then years of rebuilding.