Here’s a mockup of the UK cover art for A History of the World since 9/11. Bloomsbury in the US are designing their own cover. The text on the back is a draft (not written by me: these things get done elsewhere, then are forwarded for author approval) and rather out-of date: I was going to include a wonderful story in the book about the Masai in Kenya – and their reaction to 9/11 – but this never happened in the end. I was also going to write a story about the Israeli attack on the oil refinery/storage site at Jiyyeh in Lebanon in 2006 – a strike that led to the worst environmental disaster in the Mediterranean’s history. Once again – as often happens in these things – there wasn’t enough time or enough room in the book for the story. Which has proved pretty typical of the entire research and writing process.
The main dilemma I faced in writing this book was choosing which stories to tell. This is largely the reason why a book commissioned in 2006-7 for publication in 2008-9 ended up taking twice that amount of time and is now due out in 2011.
It’s been a long, long haul. Hopefully it’s been worth it.