Such a comprehensive well-written narrative of the events leading to the 9/11 attacks is hard to find, but this book truly delivers! The insights of those whose beliefs and actions led to today's terror networks are thoroughly explored and extremely helpful.
Looking at the excellent reviews posted here, it is hard to find anything unique to say. Just add my voice to the choir of those who say, "Well done! Bravo!!!"
Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy
This book picks up momentum as it gradually draws you in to a story everyone should know. Fascinating, scary, and frustrating all at the same time. You shake your head and wonder just how this could have happened when all the pieces of the puzzle were there all along.
I thought the narrator was wonderful and added to the experience of the book immensely.
This book is a revealing window into why America was attacked on Sept 11 2001. It traces the history of the current radical Islamist thinking, and shows how it culminated in the 9-11 attack. It also gives the reader an understanding of why the Islamists cannot be negotiated with, in the usual understanding of the word.
I can't think of a more important book for anyone who wants to understand the root causes of militant Islam. I thought I had done a fair amount of reading on this subject previously, but this book was truly revelatory.
First off, the author definitely shows a bias toward the FBI over the CIA. However, given the evidence he presents, it's easy to agree with his conclusion. While the FBI was trying to prevent Al Qaeda from executing further attacks, the CIA was withholding vital information.
Second, how can this be a defense of Clinton policies? Their main attempts to thwart Bin Laden were with cruise missiles. Does anybody really think you can assassinate a guerrilla with a cruise missile? And failing to respond to the Cole incident, even as a lame duck, was a disastrous mistake.
Finally, although I found the material very compelling, the narrator frequently put me to sleep. For more background on this topic, I highly recommend Charlie Wilson's War, America's Secret War and the 9/11 Commission Report
The Looming Tower is the wide-ranging story of the attacks of 9/11. Lawrence Wright's research into the events and personalities involved in the attacks is impressive, yet it is what he neglects to mention that sheds light on his purpose.
In The Looming Tower, the CIA is Wright’s scapegoat. Wright cites the failure of the transfer of information from the CIA to the FBI as the central reason for the success of 9/11. Wright mentions the now-famous "wall" between the CIA and the FBI that prevented the transfer of information pre-9/11, yet Wright characterizes the wall an entire bureaucracy of lawyers feared as more imaginative than real. His premise is that the CIA took the law too literally when it could have easily ignored it. Interestingly, within the minutiae of detail that Wright presents, he never mentions the creator of the wall--Jamie Gorelick--a Democrat who was chosen to sit in the 9/11 Commission.
The hero of this work is John O' Brien, an unsympathetic FBI agent who aggravates practically everyone in his orbit. O' Brien is the establishment as antihero, a sociopath who senses that 9/11 is looming, yet cannot get out of his own way while efforting to communicate his fears to the powers that be. Another hero is Richard Clarke, who Wright paints as yet another stereotypical antihero. Tellingly, Michael Scheuer of the CIA is characterized as "burnt-out" and mentally unstable. It is Scheuer who has repeatedly made headlines by insisting that the Clinton administration missed numerous chances to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden.
This book is the Rosetta stone for the Clinton apologists, and the philosophy contained within will undoubtedly be the template for arguments supporting Clinton’s administration in future campaigns.
Good idea for westerners to listen to this book and get a clue about the minds of the people who hate us.
Tucked away in the beautiful mountains of New Mexico.
First, it's tough to follow a book that has so many players named Abdullah this or Mohammad that. This book starts way back in time and seems to take forever to get to anything contemporary where I can even recognize the names. I guess I'm hard-pressed to say much good about this book, so I'd recommend using your credits elsewhere.
My wife and I put this on at the beginning of a long trip, and could only get thru the introduction. The writing was very repetitious, and felt like he had sat in front of his typewriter (computer) and just bashed out words until he met his quota.
The New York Times lists this as one of the best books of 2006, but after listening to the introduction, we couldn't find the energy to find out.