The Shock of the News

Media Coverage and the Making of 9/11

272 pages

March, 2010

ISBN: 9780814795552

$27

Paper

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Author

Brian A. Monahan is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Iowa State University.

All books by Brian A. Monahan

How did the events of September 11, 2001 come to be thought of as 9/11? The Shock of the News is an authoritative account of post-9/11 political and social processes, offering an in-depth analysis of the media coverage of this momentous event. Brian Monahan demonstrates how 9/11 has been transformed into a morality tale centered on patriotism, victimization, and heroes.

Introducing the idea of “public drama” as a way of making sense of how media processed and packaged the 9/11 attacks for their audiences, Monahan not only illuminates how and why the coverage took shape as it did, but also provides us with new insights into the social, cultural, and political consequences of the attacks and their aftermath. Monahan explains how and why 9/11 became such a potent symbol, exploring how meanings and symbols get created, reinforced, and disseminated in modern society. Ultimately, Monahan offers an important new understanding of this singular event of our time, and his compelling narrative brings the momentous events back into focus.

Reviews

  • “Well-written and engaging, Brian Monahan’s book should become a landmark in media analysis.”

    —Joel Best, author of Damned Lies and Statistics

  • “Anyone who wishes to understand how the attacks have been understood and the policy choices we made needs to read this poignant and skeptical book.”

    —Gary Alan Fine, author of The Global Grapevine: Why Rumors of Terrorism, Immigration, and Trade Matter

  • "The Shock of the News is a must-read for researchers engaged in media analyses or studying anything related to the September 11th terrorist attacks. It would be an excellent addition to undergraduate and graduate classes in media analyses or media and society."

    —Michelle D. Byng, Critical Sociology