cover image Wounded City: The Social Impact of 9/11

Wounded City: The Social Impact of 9/11

. Russell Sage Foundation Publications, $39.95 (374pp) ISBN 978-0-87154-264-9

As Kai Erikson, a professor of sociology and American studies at Yale, writes in the epilogue to this involving text, ""most disasters have a distinct geography of their own."" The remarkably consistent yet diverse essays assembled in this volume all set out, in their own ways, to map a separate piece of the ""geography"" of the September 11th attacks on New York City. They share a common ethnographic approach and social focus in tackling topics ranging from the effect of 9/11 on Chinese garment workers to its implications for the New York visual art world. Most of the contributions here are limited to the first year after the attack. Still, Foner, a professor of sociology at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center, rightly calls attention to their value in diagnosing potential long-term consequences of September 11th to the city's institutions and communities. Particularly effective chapters on the Muslim population of Jersey City and the experience of New York's taxi cab drivers offer harrowing portraits of heightened racism directed at the city's Muslim population. While the text is clearly written for an academic audience, the personal stories and thoughtful analysis contained in the anthology make it a powerful, engaging read worthy of attention beyond university circles.