Recent commemorations have consigned 9/11 to history before we’ve grappled with the role that history—our own national history—played in the country’s psychological response to the attacks. Our reaction to 9/11 further damaged the country because it was based on historic and gender myths forged in the nation’s earliest days and resurrected reflexively in the wake of the attacks to protect not the nation but its reigning national security fiction. Ten years later, America has yet to inspect that fiction, nor the earliest historic trauma that induced it.
Susan Faludi won a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism in 1991 for an article about the human costs of the leveraged buyout boom. She is the author of Backlash: The Undeclared War against American Women, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for general nonfiction, and Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man. In her latest book, The Terror Dream, Faludi argues that the events surrounding 9/11 reawakened gender stereotypes that have had a deleterious effect upon domestic and foreign policy.