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AuthorHornsby, Stephen J.

Someone once said that periods of history exist only in books. What he meant is that the forces generating continuity and change are rarely self-evident in the stories of individuals or nations. Rather, scholars shape their chapters by making sometimes arbitrary decisions about when a certain era or theme started or drew to a close, often marking them by "turning points"--that is, by specific events that they believe to have "changed the course of history". Since September 11, 2001, images generated by the crash of two jetliners into the World Trade Center towers have provoked millions into pondering the extent to which these horrific events may have ushered in a new era of global history. Only time will tell ..., but when? Many years ago Frederick Jackson Turner observed that each generation interprets the past in the light of conditions uppermost in its own time, and so it is probably true that future generations will understand "9/11" differently from those of us who first saw it "live" on TV two years ago, and subsequently in countless re-runs.

Similarly, students of the 49th Parallel are wondering if the events that generated the 9/11 attacks will mark a significant turning point in the U.S.-Canada relationship. To that end, a symposium on "U.S.-Canada Relations Since 9/11", jointly sponsored by U. Maine's Canadian-American Center and...

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