State of Fear Historical Context

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Political Climate

Crichton's novel takes place in the relatively short historical span of five months, from May through October of 2004. Although Crichton sets his novel in 2004, the most important historical event that concerns the novel occurred three years before with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. On Tuesday, September 11th, 2001, nineteen men who were operatives of the militant Islamic group al-Qaeda hijacked four American airliners. Two planes were crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. The third plane was crashed into the Pentagon, and the fourth crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Many commentators and historians have noted that the hijackings of September 11 mark the most lethal terrorist acts ever carried out on United States soil.

While there is minimal mention of the terrorist events of September 11, 2001, Crichton's novel clearly takes place in a very specific "post 9/11" historical and cultural environment...

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This section contains 586 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the State of Fear Study Guide
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