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Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America Paperback – September 24, 2001

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Prima Lifestyles; 2nd edition (September 24, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761535810
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761535812
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,389,101 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Shortly after terrorists led by Osama bin Laden attacked the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, President Bill Clinton ordered retaliatory missile strikes against targets in Afghanistan and Sudan. It was the first time the United States had responded to an individual terrorist with such overwhelming military force. Bin Laden, of course, is no run-of-the-mill rabble-rouser; Clinton called him "perhaps the preeminent organizer and financier of international terrorism in the world today." That's quite a label for someone who, as biographer Yossef Bodansky describes, "lives with his four wives and some fifteen children in a small cave in eastern Afghanistan" without running water. Yet he is "a principal player in a tangled and sinister web of terrorism-sponsoring states, intelligence chieftains, and master terrorists." Remarkably little is known about the man; as Bodansky reveals, even the year of bin Laden's birth is uncertain. This book, then, is more than the story of a single terrorist. It's a description of a whole movement waging a jihad--holy war--against the United States in the belief that America's modernizing influence on Arab nations thwarts Islamic fundamentalist goals. Bin Laden is strikingly current, extremely well informed, and thoroughly detailed. Readers interested in facts about the Middle East's violent underworld will find it fascinating--and chilling. Bodansky notes that bin Laden has become a hero to radical Muslim youth, and Osama is now a very popular baby name in many Arab countries. --John J. Miller --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This book's very complexity is a sober testiment to the confusion most Americans feel when trying to understand why militant Islamic terrorists hate us so much. How is it possible that nations that have sent their best students to our best universities in order to receive a quality education, that welcome our technology, and whose citizens enjoy the material objects we all desire (cars, TVs, computers, etc.) can breed people who think nothing of destroying buildings along with themselves? This is not a standard biography of bin Laden; there is very little known about him, and Bodansky focuses more on the man's actions than on the man himself. The mind-numbing details of organizations, splinters of those organizations, mullahs, sheiks, scholars, political groups, and shifting alliances will overwhelm the average listener. There is also no real explanation of how the terrorists use the Koran as the justification for their deeds. Most Americans are just incapable of entering the mind of bin Laden and getting even a glimmer of why his hatred is so virulent. Nadia May possesses excellent skills in pronouncing the often difficult Arab names, terms, and organizations. The price of the CD version of the book places it in the range of only the largest libraries; other institutions may want to consider the much less-expensive print or cassette editions.
Joseph L. Carlson, Lompoc P.L., CA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

It is more like a text book read.
M. Curtis
These are the most obvious bits of an extensive seam of purple prose riddling the book.
Tom L. Forest
This book answers those questions.
Tim Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Tim Smith on September 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the books that has sat on my "going to read" bookshelf until the tragic events of 9/11/01. Now that I have read it I am experiencing a wide array of emotions, not the least of which are anger and dismay. Not that my reading it before would have done anything but it would have at least lessened the shock and surprise at "who could do such a thing" and "how could something like this have happenned?". This book answers those questions. It is for readers who believe in the maxim "Know thy Enemy" for the author does a magnificent job of describing bin Laden and how he developed into the extremist terrorist who threatens the free world's way of life; how he developed his resources, and the complex network of followers who are willing to die for their beliefs. It's almost as interesting to read some of the reviews of this book written prior to the recent acts of terror. Those reviews discount bin Laden and the assertions Bodansky makes about him, claiming the author is trying to make money by sensationalizing the Islamist leader, his resources and his blueprint for destruction. Don't believe them. Yossef Bodansky has impeccable research to back up his statements and the indescribable horror of this last week solidifies his credibility.
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful By sarwar on February 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The Saudi millionaire militant Osama Bin Laden and Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) have struck a deal under which the so-called Mujaheddin will carry out ``spectacular terrorist strikes'' in the heart of India in return for the ISI's support, protection and sponsorship, according to a new book on the world's most-wanted terrorist.
The deal, solidified in Spring 1998, enables the ISI to strike in India while denying any involvement, says Yossef Bodansky, author of the recently released book Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America.
The book also makes a stunning allegation: The ISI, in cahoots with the so-called Mujaheddin, sponsors, supports and trains terrorists throughout the world from centers in Afghanistan and Pakistan for operations in the Middle East, India (not just Kashmir), and increasingly, western Europe.
In a compelling account of the ISI's nexus with Osama bin Laden and their flagrant involvement in subversive activity in India, Bodansky says the Pakistani spy agency is actively assisting bin Laden in the expansion of an Islamist infrastructure in India.
It distributes cassettes and other propaganda material in which Bin Laden and others described India, along with the United States and Israel, as the greatest enemy of Islam. Primary venues for the distribution of Islamist propaganda and incitement material are the institutions run by the Ahl-i-Hadith religious charity, which is associated with Lashkar-e-Toiba Islamist Kashmiri organisation.
Bodansky writes that under the command of Abdul Karim Tunda, the Lashkar-e-Toiba has already been responsible for several terrorist attacks in India.
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39 of 46 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
I don't usually read books on history, politics, or world affairs, but I wish I had read this a long time ago. The author explains the complicated politics of the Middle East, along with ever-shifting loyalties, and our country's own manipulation by Pakistan, all of which contributed to the rise of Osama Bin Laden and worldwide terrorism. The book is detailed and well researched. Although it's not a "quick" read, it was so informative, I had a hard time putting it down.
This book was written before the events of September 11 2001, but it gives the background information to put those events into perspective. It made me realize that in America, we've all been living in denial for the past 20 years, while overseas, a lot of anti-American (and anti-Western) sentiment has been brewing. I had no idea how many people out there would die to ensure the fall of Western civilization. We take our religious freedom, as well as separation of church and state, for granted in this country. I have never appreciated it as much as I do right now. Thank you to Mr. Bodansky for opening my eyes.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
As might be imagined, "Bid Laden, The Man Who Declared War on America" is an alarming book. And the fact that it was written two years before 9/11/01 makes it more so, since the narrative puts the events of that day into the context of an unfolding political reality that has been too long in the making to be resolved any time soon. The title is somewhat misleading, and I picked the book up thinking it was going to be a biography of sorts. However, other than some perfunctory material on Bid Laden's youth, the study isn't really about Bid Laden himself so much as it is about the violent political movement, of which he is a leader, that has evolved from Islamic eschatology. Bodansky takes his readers on a trip through the snake pit of Middle Eastern and radical Islamic politics, which he portrays as a world where wealth, self-interest, violence, religious doctrine, and state policy are intertwined inextricably. It's also a world where loyalties or even strategic alliances don't seem to exist much beyond ephemeral alignments around tactical objectives that shift with the political wind. In this light, Bodansky - who is a consultant to the U.S. government - reveals much about our supposed friends in the region. He describes Pakistan as one of the primary architects behind the terrorist infrastructure managed by Bid Laden and other leading Islamists. He portrays the Saudi government as a craven and tottering regime which continues to provide lavish funding to this infrastructure as a kind of protection money to keep it's activities away from Saudi soil. Bodansky, of course, turns his cynical eye on the U.S. too, reminding us that we ourselves collaborated in birthing this movement, nurturing its spectacularly successful war against our one-time enemy, the Soviet Union.Read more ›
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