After hearing the author on the Conversations with History podcast I decided to pick up the book. The book is informative but so dry in places that the ah-hah moments were strategically placed oases. It took a pair of multi-week breaks to get through it. I don't regret it because I do think the book is one that the well read person should have under their belt but my goodness, it was hard to get through! I truly hope I am in the minority on this.
A former history professor once said to me that historians have the disadvantage of hindsight and that since we know what actually happened we must strive to account for that when arriving at our conclusions. This book put that statement to the test for me as I listened. Wonderfully narrated, this intricate story depicting the rise of a fragile and hated group lays bare both the ferocity and ineptness of human beings as a species as we hear about the origins, assumptions and activities of what will be known as Al Qaeda. This book is highly recommended.
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