Saturday, February 3, 2007
I stayed up way too late last night to finish Lawrence Wright's The Looming Tower. I picked it up after seeing it on practically every best of the year list, and it certainly deserves all those accolades. Wright has constructed a compulsively readable narrative about the history of Islamic radicalism and two of its chief architects, Ayman Al-Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden. There is also some focus on the U. S. fight to combat terrorism, particularly focusing on John O'Neill, and some of the bureaucratic lack of cooperation between the FBI and CIA. While the build-up and plan for 9/11 is touched upon, Looming Tower primarily describes the origins and shifting philosophies of Al-Qaeda and how they came to be focused upon the United States.