Book Review: Peace, Justice, and 9/11

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The mass murders committed on 9/11 continue to have an incalculable impact on foreign relations, world economics, and the broader culture. But this essential collection of essays is neither a political autopsy nor an emotional anthology. Instead, it examines the tragedy from a philosophical distance that forces readers to consider the unintentional causes and subconscious effects of violence, both individual and collective.

The book, written by more than 100 visionary thinkers who span generations and transcend borders ethnic, religious, and political, is strategically broken into two parts. The first explores the origins of fear and consequences of grief while convincingly establishing the editors’ broad definition of terrorism, which includes acts of aggression against any unarmed civilian, no matter the perpetrator. The ruminations in the second section, “Paths to Transformation,” demand unedited honesty, empathy for all, and raw self-reflection, all essential in the quest for equal peace and meaningful justice.

Have something to say? Send a letter to This article first appeared in the September-October 2011 issue of Utne Reader.

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