Robert Cormier on Terrorism
"Terrorism" in Literary Cavalcade
Robert Cormier's essay "Terrorism" for Literary Cavalcade recounts the author's thoughts on terrorism from his St. Paul hotel room as he waits for his breakfast from room service. He talks of the facelessness of terrorism and the doubt that follows from that uncertain identity. He fears that his coffee might have been tempered with. While he admits this is far-fetched, he also claims that the circumstances around the Tylenol crisis seemed just as impossible. He makes brief mention of his novel, After the First Death, and the tragedy that its themes of terrorism are still so relevant. He pays the room service employee who delivered his breakfast and wondered if the Tylenol terrorist looked as nondescript. Cormier states that we are vulnerable to terror at all times and as he has no solution to the problem, the best he can do is have the resolve to keep going with life and drink his coffee.
"Terrorism in the 80's --- We Must Drink the Coffee" Draft
This three page typescript of Robert Cormier's article "Terrorism" includes pen and pencil markings and the second page is made of two portions of typed pages taped together. Cormier writes from his hotel room of the Tylenol crisis and the distant possibility that the coffee room service is delivering may have been tampered with itself. He admits his melodrama, but he still claims the growing presence of terrorism is partly caused by our own vulnerability. He briefly mentions his novel, After the First Death.
Time Magazine online offers a history of the Tylenol killings, in the article "A Brief History of the Tylenol Poisonings" by Dan Fletcher, dated February 9, 2009.