The Unfinished Bombing: Oklahoma City in American Memory

Paperback | February 15, 2003

byEdward T. Linenthal

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On April 19, 1995 the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City shook the nation, destroying our complacent sense of safety and sending a community into a tailspin of shock, grief, and bewilderment. Almost as difficult as the bombing itself has been the aftermath, itslegacy for Oklahoma City and for the nation, and the struggle to recover from this unprecedented attack. In The Unfinished Bombing, Edward T. Linenthal explores the many ways Oklahomans and other Americans have tried to grapple with this catastrophe. Working with exclusive access to materials gathered by the Oklahoma City National Memorial Archive and drawing from over 150 personal interviewswith family members of those murdered, survivors, rescuers, and many others. Linenthal looks at how the bombing threatened cherished ideas about American innocence, sparked national debate on how to respond to terrorism at home and abroad, and engendered a new "bereaved community" in Oklahoma Cityitself. Linenthal examines how different stories about the bombing were told through positive narratives of civic renewal and of religious redemption and more negative narratives of toxicity and trauma. He writes about the extraordinary bonds of affection that were created in the wake of thebombing, acts of kindness, empathy, and compassion that existed alongside the toxic legacy of the event. The Unfinished Bombing offers a compelling look at both the individual and the larger cultural consequences of one of the most searing events in recent American history.

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On April 19, 1995 the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City shook the nation, destroying our complacent sense of safety and sending a community into a tailspin of shock, grief, and bewilderment. Almost as difficult as the bombing itself has been the aftermath, itslegacy for Oklahoma City and for the nation, ...

Edward T. Linenthal is Edward M. Penson Professor of Religion and American Culture at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. He is the author of Sacred Ground: Americans and Their Battlefields and Preserving Memory: The Struggle to Create America's Holocaust Museum, and co-editor of History Wars: The Enola Gay and Other Battles to Pres...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 6.1 × 9.21 × 0.87 inPublished:February 15, 2003Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195161076

ISBN - 13:9780195161076

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"Demonstrating how to combine respect for suffering with searching analysis, Edward Linenthal examines the responses of bereaved family members, survivors, and community leaders in Oklahoma City. Making an honest reckoning with the features of tragedy that push human understanding to--andpast--its limits, The Unfinished Bombing provides an unforgettable case study in the strategies human beings create to manage the memory of searing loss. This book deepens the way we think about the misfortunes of the 1995 bombing, as well as the customs and habits of mind of Americans dealingwith violence and mortality."--Patricia Nelson Limerick, author of The Legacy of Conquest and Something in the Soil