The looming tower : Al-Qaeda and the road to 9/11

Lawrence Wright.

Wright (a staff writer for The New Yorker) combines a journalistic history of the origins and evolutions of Al Qaeda with the story of American intelligence and military responses to the threat posed by the organization. His account begins with experiences of the organization's ideological father, Sayyid Qutb, in the United States in the 1950s, and then traces Qutb's involvement in Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and how it eventually led to the founding by Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri of Al Qaeda. His treatment of these figures, and of the CIA and other officials tracking their movements, discusses their ideological, organizational, and political evolution, but also places a greater emphasis on personal and family relationships than might be commonly expected in such a narrative. Annotation #169;2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (


Denise DavisPosted June 30, 2009

We have all heard the expression "nonfiction that reads like a novel,"but it is rare for nonfiction to be as gripping as the best suspense fiction.  The expression is, however, right on point with Lawrence Wright's extraordinary book.  Dram...

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