9/11: The Essential Reference Guide

ABC-CLIO. 3rd. ed. May 2021. 334p. ed. by Stephen Atkins. ISBN 9781440873027. $97. REF
With a new preface and six brief new introductory essays, this work from 13 scholar-contributors (edited by Atkins, who died in 2010 after completing the second edition of this encyclopedia) considers the September 11 terrorist attacks. Subjects include theories of responsibility for the attacks; other extremist terrorism; civil liberties; presidential power; and impacts on civil aviation, U.S. counterterrorism, and Muslim Americans; it doesn’t cover the discrimination against Sikh Americans in the wake of 9/11. Despite minor additions to this edition (e.g., four recent works in the bibliography), it has less material than the two-volume second edition from 2011; three introductory essays, a “Guide to Related Topics,” and many entries and text boxes have been subtracted from the second edition. The single-volume third edition offers 18 primary documents (vs. 56 in the second edition); a 19-page (vs. 29-page) annotated bibliography; and a 13-page (vs. 17-page) chronology. Several entries have new information (e.g., “Families”; “Health Effects of September 11”). The “Conspiracy Theories” entry, however, does not (e.g., nothing on Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth or Alex Jones). The 75 (vs. 175) entries cover persons, organizations, events, reports, attacks, administrations, casualties, doctrines/theories, economic impacts, and more; cross-referencing is helpful.
VERDICT The monumental 2011 edition will still satisfy most readers, but this more compact edition preserves the core and adds a few updates.
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