This is a must read if you want to better understand the history of muslim fundamentalism , 9/11 and the events that followed. I was amazed at my own ignorance and found the book engrosing.. These are people and events that have and will continue to affect the way we live. All you have to do is go to an airport to be reminded.
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.
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.