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EXPLAINS THE MAN AND HIS PLACE IN THE MUSLIM WORLD
on October 19, 2002
In his latest book, Dennis sets out to achieve several related objectives. He provides a truly three dimensional, "living" portrait of the young Bin Laden and the influences at work in his life based on the known facts. This provides the "key" to understanding Bin Laden's mental landscape and the psychological forces at work in his young life that led him down the terrorist path. The book is unique in that aspect. Dennis then dissects Bin Laden's political techniques and speeches to show him as the Great Communicator of the radical Muslim world. Dennis shows how Bin Laden's visual imagery (lying on a humble pallet of a cave in one video) speaks to Muslims in ways that escape Western audiences. Dennis links the cave imagery to the chapter in the Koran called "The Cave." The author has an admirable understanding of the Koran and how Bin Laden plays off of the Koran in communicating to his audience. The final chapters of the book are thick with information on other fundamentalist figures from the Muslim world, past and present, and show how Bin Laden's pronouncements fit into that larger world of Islamic political thought. This gives the reader a more objective view of how unique or typical Bin Laden is compared to Qutb, Khomeini and others. The book is valuable in each of its parts as well as a whole. A nice addition to the growing Bin Laden literature.