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The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to…
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The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (Vintage) (edition 2007)

by Lawrence Wright

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2,277582,805 (4.3)70
Member:RavenousReaders
Title:The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (Vintage)
Authors:Lawrence Wright
Info:Vintage (2007), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 576 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:Pima County Public Library, pcpl, 9/11, terrorism,

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The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright

  1. 40
    102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers by Jim Dwyer (peacemover)
    peacemover: Now that you have read who is behind 9/11 and why they did it, now read about the people in the towers- where they came from, and their struggles to survive.
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Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
You cannot talk about Al-Qaeda if you have not read this book. ( )
  ikeman100 | May 9, 2017 |
Lawrence Wright’s “Looming Tower” is an indispensable read in the understanding of the rise of Al-Qaeda and the eventual fall of the Twin Towers. Well written and eminently readable, “The Looming Tower” traces the “road to 9/11” back to 1948 when Egyptian, Sayyid Qutb, arrives in New York City. He then makes his way to Greeley, Colorado to attend the Colorado State College of Education (now the University of Northern Colorado). At first he sees Greeley as “almost paradise” but eventually comes to see Greeley and America as decadent and godless. Among other things, he cites America’s overt racism – with reason – and his observation of improperly dressed American students dancing to the tunes of “South Pacific.” Who knew! He then returns to Egypt to sows the seeds for the purification of Islam. The rest is history.
A good, sobering read, and one largely free of overt political bias. Five stars for “Looming Tower.” Impressive! ( )
  Renzomalo | May 2, 2017 |
My main complaint with this book is it's length, which is a bit offputting. The author has done some real serious research, and has presented his case well, but the amount of minutiae might detract a bit. There is also a bit too much repetition. That being said, it is fascinating reading, and helps to put events like 9/11 and what has happened since into perspective. Between the belligerence of the extreme right and the habit of the extreme left to tolerate anything done by non-Westerners, sometimes it gets a bit difficult to find a beam of light in a darkening world, but this account attempts to sort out the tangled threads in the mess that was Al-Qaeda and the mess that was our government's response to Al-Qaeda. The simplistic answers offered by one side or the other float away in the solid light of meticulously gathered information. Should be read by most people, but most people won't sit through a long book about something they believe they already understand. ( )
  Devil_llama | Mar 9, 2017 |
This is the book to read if you want to learn about some of the personalities surrounding 9/11, and also to learn more about how it happened. It provides background on the Bin Laden family in Saudia Arabia which helps a person to understand how it all started. Includes stories behind the "bad guys" involved in the plot and the "good guys" who almost managed to thwart it. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
http://tinyurl.com/pnvzp3s

I have so very much to say about this book. I grilled the folks in my book club when we read Wright's book on Scientology (Going Clear) - is this sensationalist journalism? does he lay out his facts well? does he repeat himself ad nauseam (something I really abhor in non-fiction)? The answers were all no, yes, and no. And I loved that book. It was time to try another one of his.

What I think I admire the most about this book, but one that others may find drags the story out a bit too long, is that he starts way, way back. Back to the original Islamic fundamentalist thoughts and the original writings. He wants to lay the background as best he can for why 9/11 happened, and this is key to doing that. He also works hard to differentiate between Islam and fundamentalism, how the split occurred, why it occurred, and where all the faults lie (and they lie all over the world).

Even more intriguingly, he paints a picture of the Muslim world in both its faults and its beauty, and it allows us to see the strength of the religion and the myriad difficulties it encountered in living within a political structure. Hey, the western world knows what that's about! Consequently, Wright's description resonates very well with any American reading his book.

You will shake your head constantly while reading this book (and for a whole variety of reasons) but it's one of those that should be read by everyone, everywhere. ( )
  khage | Nov 9, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
A narrator doesn’t just tell a story; he keeps the listener company. Alan Sklar is good company—with a voice so distinctive that a blind man could pick him out from across the room.
added by readysetgo | editAudiofile Magazine (Feb 1, 2007)
 
Wright, a New Yorker writer, brings exhaustive research and delightful prose to one of the best books yet on the history of terrorism.
added by readysetgo | editPublishers Weekly (Aug 6, 2006)
 
In the nearly five years since the attacks, we’ve heard oceans of commentary on the whys and how-comes and what-it-means and what’s nexts. Wright, a staff writer for The New Yorker — where portions of this book have appeared — has put his boots on the ground in the hard places, conducted the interviews and done the sleuthing. Others talked, he listened. And so he has unearthed an astonishing amount of detail about Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Mullah Muhammad Omar and all the rest of them. They come alive.
 
Mr. Wright’s book, based on more than 500 interviews — ranging from Mr. bin Laden’s best friend in college, Jamal Khalifa, to Yosri Fouda, a reporter for Al Jazeera, to Richard A. Clarke, the former White House counterterrorism chief — gives the reader a searing view of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, a view that is at once wrenchingly intimate and boldly sweeping in its historical perspective.
added by readysetgo | editNew York Times, Michiko Kakutani (Aug 1, 2006)
 
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 037541486X, Hardcover)

A sweeping narrative history of the events leading to 9/11, a groundbreaking look at the people and ideas, the terrorist plans and the Western intelligence failures that culminated in the assault on America. Lawrence Wright’s remarkable book is based on five years of research and hundreds of interviews that he conducted in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, England, France, Germany, Spain, and the United States.

The Looming Tower achieves an unprecedented level of intimacy and insight by telling the story through the interweaving lives of four men: the two leaders of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri; the FBI’s counterterrorism chief, John O’Neill; and the former head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Turki al-Faisal.

As these lives unfold, we see revealed: the crosscurrents of modern Islam that helped to radicalize Zawahiri and bin Laden . . . the birth of al-Qaeda and its unsteady development into an organization capable of the American embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania and the attack on the USS Cole . . . O’Neill’s heroic efforts to track al-Qaeda before 9/11, and his tragic death in the World Trade towers . . . Prince Turki’s transformation from bin Laden’s ally to his enemy . . . the failures of the FBI, CIA, and NSA to share intelligence that might have prevented the 9/11 attacks.

The Looming Tower broadens and deepens our knowledge of these signal events by taking us behind the scenes. Here is Sayyid Qutb, founder of the modern Islamist movement, lonely and despairing as he meets Western culture up close in 1940s America; the privileged childhoods of bin Laden and Zawahiri; family life in the al-Qaeda compounds of Sudan and Afghanistan; O’Neill’s high-wire act in balancing his all-consuming career with his equally entangling personal life—he was living with three women, each of them unaware of the others’ existence—and the nitty-gritty of turf battles among U.S. intelligence agencies.

Brilliantly conceived and written, The Looming Tower draws all elements of the story into a galvanizing narrative that adds immeasurably to our understanding of how we arrived at September 11, 2001. The richness of its new information, and the depth of its perceptions, can help us deal more wisely and effectively with the continuing terrorist threat.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:16 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Explores both the American and Arab sides of the September 11th terrorist attacks in an account of the people, ideas, events, and intelligence failures that led to the attacks.

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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