• The Rise and Fall of Osama bin Laden

  • By: Peter L. Bergen
  • Narrated by: James Langton
  • Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (307 ratings)

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The Rise and Fall of Osama bin Laden

By: Peter L. Bergen
Narrated by: James Langton
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Publisher's Summary

The world’s leading expert on Osama bin Laden delivers for the first time the definitive biography of a man who set the course of American foreign policy for the 21st century, and whose ideological heirs we continue to battle today.

In The Rise and Fall of Osama bin Laden, Peter Bergen provides the first reevaluation of the man responsible for precipitating America’s long wars with al-Qaeda and its descendants, capturing bin Laden in all the dimensions of his life: as a family man, as a zealot, as a battlefield commander, as a terrorist leader, and as a fugitive. The book sheds light on his many contradictions: He was the son of a billionaire, yet insisted his family live like paupers. He adored his wives and children, depending on two of his wives, both of whom had PhDs, to make important strategic decisions. Yet he also brought ruin to his family. He was fanatically religious, yet willing to kill thousands of civilians in the name of Islam. He inspired deep loyalty yet, in the end, his bodyguards turned against him. And while he inflicted the most lethal act of mass murder in United States history, he failed to achieve any of his strategic goals.

The lasting image we have of bin Laden in his final years is of an aging man with a graying beard watching old footage of himself, just another dad flipping through the channels with his remote. In the end, bin Laden died in a squalid suburban compound, far from the front lines of his holy war. And yet despite that unheroic denouement, his ideology lives on. Thanks to exclusive interviews with family members and associates, and documents unearthed only recently, Bergen’s portrait of Osama will reveal for the first time who he really was and why he continues to inspire a new generation of jihadists.  

©2021 Peter Bergen. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Rise and Fall of Osama bin Laden

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Well written and exciting

The reader was clear , well modulated. I read reputable newspapers yet gained much knowledge and insights from the book.

2 people found this helpful

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I think it was great

Waited to read about the great terrorist, listened to the full story in on stretch without sleep.

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  • GM
  • 08-12-21

Outstanding!

Brilliant, authoritative, engaging. But an embarassing mistake should be fixed--Barak Obama was inaugurated in January (NOT June) of 2009.

1 person found this helpful

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Great history lesson

Just coming into adulthood during the 911 years I remember the events well. But sadly most people will never have this insight into the history. This is a sobering look well beyond the level of Facebook knowledge most will have. I thoroughly enjoyed the content.

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Not great narration

I found the narration too emphatic, too much intonation or something, for what is actually a very low key account.

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well done; well read

How the mighty are brought low. Bin Laden was rendered powerless by the us response.

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We lost in Afghanistan before we started,

Fighting a war in a country whose culture, traditions, history, religions and multiple languages we do not understand was a foolhardy mistake. Osama bin Laden accomplished his wildest dreams. Osama manage to destroy the democracy of the United States and make the United States on of the least trusted countries in the world. Our politicians and military leaders became accustomed to lying to the citizens of the United States and our former friends and allies around the world.

Everyone in the world should all thank President Biden for withdrawing the United States from Afghanistan. Going into Afghanistan was a mistake. Staying Afghanistan under Bush, Obama and Trump was a mistake. It took 20 tears and thousands of lives and trillion of wasted dollars for us to lean from our mistake. Leaving Afghanistan was inevitable.

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RIVETING

Bergen's Holy War Inc next! Happy he will narrate. This narrator intonation wrong; too sing-song.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Damien Ward
  • 09-19-21

Exceptional piece of work

Along with 'The Looming Tower' (Lawrence Wright) the best book I've read on Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. The hinted at US administration tactic having cornered UBL in Tora Bora was so elegantly done. Superb book.

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  • Andrew P
  • 09-15-21

Very good book

An excellent account of Bin Laden, and the factors leading up to his assassination, and beyond.

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  • Alexander Emslie
  • 08-25-21

Riveting

Remarkably and impressively researched. I will revisit this because it has opened my mind to events that now appears to me as one long interconnected history. Too much to absorb in just one listening and the content deserves further study 👍👍