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Holy War Inc. Inside the Secret World of Osama Bin Laden Hardcover – November 7, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
There's a lot of new information in this well-written examination by CNN's terrorism expert on the man believed to be behind the events of September 11, though some of its revelations have already been reported elsewhere in the media. What distinguishes this account is its depth: Bergen has long tracked the Islamic world the book opens with the account of his 1997 interview with bin Laden, the terrorist's first TV interview and it shows. He sheds light on several outstanding questions, arguing, among other things, that it's unlikely Iraq was involved in the September 11 attacks, and that it's a myth that the CIA directly funded and trained bin Laden during the war in Afghanistan in the 1980s. According to Bergen, the CIA gave its money to Pakistan and then let that country's intelligence agency decide what to do with it, which was to fund those they viewed as the most strictly Islamic groups among those opposing the Soviet Union. He also adds some details about bin Laden's rise from his wealthy childhood in Saudi Arabia to his current career, and the global spread of Al Qaeda's terrorizing tentacles. The information on what is known about September 11 added hurriedly after the original manuscript was completed, as Bergen admits gives the book a slightly jagged feel. But those looking for a balanced, comprehensive look at bin Laden and his crew as well as an answer to the now preeminent question "why do they hate us so much?" will do well to start here. (Nov. 13)Forecast: Given the piling up of books about bin Laden, etc., on bestseller lists, it's a foregone conclusion that this will join them, with first serial to Vanity Fair and selection by the major book clubs.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
As CNN terrorism analyst Bergen avows, this journalistic study of Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda terrorist network was rushed to publication and thus lacks some editorial smoothness in its delivery. Nevertheless, this book offers a mature, balanced description of bin Laden's background; a concise summary of the organization of the al-Qaeda terrorist network as it has developed in the Middle East, Europe, and America; and a brief narrative of terrorist events through September 11. Bergen asserts that bin Laden's hostility emanates from his religious opposition to an American military presence in Saudi Arabia, American policy toward Israel, and the "un-Islamic" behavior of Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Bergen personalizes his story with an account of his 1997 interview with bin Laden and the contacts he made with bin Laden's militant Islamic associates. Here, an interesting story drifts a bit from bin Laden to accounts of al-Qaeda operations. Bergen has, however, pulled together a significant amount of solid information, which he presents with perception and without grand swings of passion. This is an important initial glimpse of bin Laden, al-Qaeda, and the associated Taliban of Afghanistan and is strongly recommended for all libraries. John F. Riddick, Central Michigan Univ. Lib., Mt. Pleasant
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Clearly written by a guy who's been reporting on all parties involved long before 9/11, this book really gives you the big picture on bin Laden, Al Qaeda and the roots of both throughout recent years. You'll get the info surrounding the original WTC bombing, the African Embassy bombings, the Cole bombing, the failed Millenium bombings here and a few other more recent militant Islamist capers.
It definitely spells out why bin Laden reviles the U.S. so much, but does not necessarily answer how he could come to believe the things he does with such murderous verocity--although what could?
If you want a quick primer on Al Qaeda, bin Laden or his even scarier #2, this book is a quick, easy read.
Note: I have "The New Jackals" ordered but have not read it yet; allegedly it's a great read as well.
The Islamists love our 21st century technology, but still want to destroy us, the "infidels".
Most recent customer reviews
'Holy War, Inc' is, first, a well-written, well-researched book, the product of four years of hard work on the author's part.Read more