Al Qaeda might be a secret organization, but it kept meticulous records. For the first time ever, those records are being made available to the public. "Beatings and Bureaucracy: The Founding Memos of Al Qaeda" is a history of the creation of Al Qaeda in the words of its members. Included are detailed notes from the 1988 meetings in which Osama bin Laden laid out his vision for the terrorist organization, as well as letters to and from bin Laden and other significant jihadist figures. These documents chronicle a critical period in Al Qaeda's history and are arguably even more important than the material found by U.S. forces in Abbotabad, Pakistan, when bin Laden was finally killed. Compiled and edited by J.M. Berger, author of "Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam" and editor of Intelwire, this collection is a important and fascinating reference for anyone interested in the War on Terror.