The first half is a little slow, which is why I'm not giving 5 stars. But this is an amazing look into all of the screw ups that lead to 9/11.
Runner, Commuter, Dietitian with a passion for U.S. History.
A highly readable version of the events of the 9-11 report with more skilled character development than much of popular fiction. My only problem was keeping the arabic names and minor players straight.
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
This is an excellent story that brings the events leading up to 9/11 into human focus. This is a story of people, not politics and individuals not technology. It examines the terrorists and western intelligence agents all as human beings focusing on their fluid motivations and goals along with both strengths and limitations. This is a down to earth analysis of the factors and people that lead to 9/11. It does not cast blame or propose solutions, it just tells the story. Although it is not a perfect book it fills a gap that definitely needed filling. The book is not for everyone as it is not a ???big picture??? story, but instead it focuses on the details of relationships and events.
Very good perspective about the events leading up to 9/11, the dysfuntion of our intelligence agencies and a good insight into the 2 key figures of Al Queda and how they started and how long they have been around and a feel for how formidable they are. Very relevant and eye opening. Worth the read.
It's nice to see that al-qaeda is subject to the same backbiting, backstabbing, and dissent that any corporation in America is prone to. It's also important for Americans to understand how systemic failures on the part of our government lead to the disaster that was 9/11.
I compare this book to a book written years ago called "Case Closed", about the JFK assasination. The author studied in depth Lee Harvey Oswald then proceeded to squash all conspiracy theories. You walk away confident Oswald acted alone.
Lawrence Wright does the same with Osama bin Laden. You wonder what in god's name we're doing in Iraq. It also highlights the incompetency of the CIA.
The recent history of the Middle East is enormously complex and this book helps make it clearer. I appreciate the reader since his voice is neutral - it doesn't dominate the text as other reader's voices can.
This book is a real eye opener. It traces its origin to the origins of radical Islam itself and then follows the path to the 9/11 attacks. The story takes you meeting by meeting along the paths of both sides in this story. You get to go inside AQ meetings and hear who said what to whom, then moments later, you are inside the struggles of the FBI and CIA trying to deal with the "Wall" separating the Intel from the Law Enforcement entities in our government. Lawrence Wright looks to have done some homework on this one.
Every westerner every non Muslim should read this. I never understood where the Islamic fundamentalist got the inspiration to commit mass murder. I now have some insight into their history and the madness they believe.