The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were the first attacks to hit American soil since the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941. Merely a month after the Twin Towers fell and the Pentagon crumbled, a new threat made its way through the public mailing system: anthrax, a white powder with the power to kill whoever came into contact with it. Together, these two events virtually destroyed the American sense of security and quickly lead to an era of national paranoia that was not wholly unjustified.
One Nation Under Siege: Congress, Terrorism, and the Fate of American Democracy explores the impact of terrorism on contemporary American politics and investigates the subsequent internal changes within Congress. Author Jocelyn Jones Evans draws from her personal experience on Capitol Hill as a congressional fellow to investigate the modifications made as a reaction to the attacks, focusing on the jurisdictional changes to the congressional committee system, administrative changes to congressional offices, and environmental and architectural changes to the Capitol Complex.
Evans explores the resulting national political climate, as the democratic political systems struggled to maintain appropriate security measures while preserving public accessibility to the workings of Congress. She incorporates captivating first hand accounts of the 9/11 attacks and the anthrax scare from numerous members of the political elite, including members of Congress, legislative staff and Capitol Police, providing readers with insider perspectives of two of the most recent and influential events in American history. These stories not only provide the context for the book, but also fully capture how those working on Capitol Hill experienced the acts and effects of terrorism in 2001 and how they adjusted to prevent it from happening again.
One Nation Under Siege serves as a comprehensive look into the inner workings of Congress and associated government bodies during and after a devastating national crisis. Evans provides readers with an unprecedented study that allows for a new level of understanding of governmental processes in the post-9/11 era and provides substantial insight into the resulting social and political changes that American citizens have experienced.