Harper's Magazine 2004 Article
By Benjamin DeMott
No book in memory has stirred greater anticipatory frenzy than The 9/11 Commission Report—or more universal acclaim at its appearance in July. Before it was out, news and interview shows were welcoming the Commissioners whose labor had produced it. CNN ran film footage of copies tumbling off printer-plant conveyor belts. Stores reported overnight sellouts of their orders. Officialdom, Republicans and Democrats, spoke of the work as magisterial. David Brooks hailed its “moral aura” on PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. The President himself—at one time he not only had declined an invitation to answer the Commission's questions but had opposed the Commission's creation—praised the work as “very constructive,” and he and the Vice President commenced citing it in speeches; so did John Kerry. By mid-August, 630,000 copies, priced to move at $10, had been sold.