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The Looming Tower

Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11

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Hardcover published by Knopf (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book

UPDATED AND WITH A NEW AFTERWORD

National Book Award Finalist

A Time, Newsweek, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and New York Times Book Review Best Book of the Year

A gripping narrative that spans five decades, The Looming Tower explains in unprecedented detail the growth of Islamic fundamentalism, the rise of al-Qaeda, and the intelligence failures that culminated in the attacks on the World Trade Center. Lawrence Wright re-creates firsthand the transformation of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri from incompetent and idealistic soldiers in Afghanistan to leaders of the most successful terrorist group in history. He follows FBI counterterrorism chief John O’Neill as he uncovers the emerging danger from al-Qaeda in the 1990s and struggles to track this new threat. Packed with new information and a deep historical perspective, The Looming Tower is the definitive history of the long road to September 11.

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UPDATED AND WITH A NEW AFTERWORD

National Book Award Finalist

A Time, Newsweek, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and New York Times Book Review Best Book of the Year

A gripping narrative that spans five decades, The Looming Tower explains in unprecedented detail the growth of Islamic fundamentalism, the rise of al-Qaeda, and the intelligence failures that culminated in the attacks on the World Trade Center. Lawrence Wright re-creates firsthand the transformation of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri from incompetent and idealistic soldiers in Afghanistan to leaders of the most successful terrorist group in history. He follows FBI counterterrorism chief John O’Neill as he uncovers the emerging danger from al-Qaeda in the 1990s and struggles to track this new threat. Packed with new information and a deep historical perspective, The Looming Tower is the definitive history of the long road to September 11.

Product Details
Hardcover (480 pages)
Published: August 8, 2006
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Knopf
ISBN: 9780375414862
Other books byLawrence Wright
  • City Children, Country Summer

    City Children, Country Summer
    An up-close account of the experience of inner city New York kids—black and Latino, from ghettos and projects—who spent a summer in an Amish and Mennonite farm community in Central Pennsylvania in the late 1970s, sponsored by the Fresh Air Fund. City Chidren, Country Summer follows these children as they navigate two very different worlds, from Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction.

    Going Clear

    Going Clear
    Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief
    National Book Award Finalist A clear-sighted revelation, a deep penetration into the world of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower, the now-classic study of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack. Based on more than two hundred personal interviews with current and former Scientologists—both famous and less well known—and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative ability to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology. At the book’s center, two men whom Wright brings vividly to life, showing how they have made Scientology what it is today: The darkly brilliant science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, whose restless, expansive mind invented a new religion. And his successor, David Miscavige—tough and driven, with the unenviable task of preserving the church after the death of Hubbard. We learn about Scientology’s complicated cosmology and special language. We see the ways in which the church pursues celebrities, such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, and how such stars are used to advance the church’s goals. And we meet the young idealists who have joined the Sea Org, the church’s clergy, signing up with a billion-year contract. In Going Clear, Wright examines what fundamentally makes a religion a religion, and whether Scientology is, in fact, deserving of this constitutional protection. Employing all his exceptional journalistic skills of observation, understanding, and shaping a story into a compelling narrative, Lawrence Wright has given us an evenhanded yet keenly incisive book that reveals the very essence of what makes Scientology the institution it is.

    Twins

    Twins
    And What They Tell Us about Who We Are
    A New York Times Notable Book for 1998 Critical acclaim for Lawrence Wright's A Rhone-Poulenc Science Prize Finalist "This is a book about far more than twins: it is about what twins can tell us about ourselves."—The New York Times "With plenty of amazing stories about the similarities and differences of twins, Wright respectfully shows, too, how their special circumstance in life challenges our notions of individuality. A truly fascinating but sometimes spooky (Mengele's experiments with twins at Auschwitz figure among Wright's examples) study."—American Library Association "Like so much of Wright's work, this book is a pleasure to read. Because he writes so well, without pushing a particular point of view, he soon has you pondering questions you have tended to comfortably ignore."—Austin American-Statesman "Informative and entertaining . . . a provocative subject well considered by a talented journalist."—Kirkus Reviews

    Saints and Sinners

    Saints and Sinners
    Walker Railey, Jimmy Swaggart, Madalyn Murray...
    In this fascinating book about religion in America, one of this country's most probing yet sympathetic journalists puts forth stories not only of real grace but of despair, sexual scandal, and attempted murder. Lawrence Wright's Saints and Sinners are Jimmy Swaggart, who preached a hellfire gospel with rock 'n' roll abandon before he was caught with a, prostitute in a seedy motel; Anton LaVey, the kitsch-loving, gleefully fraudulent founder of the First Church of Satan; Madalyn Murray O'Hair, whose litigious atheism sometimes resembled a brand of faith; Matthew Fox, the Dominican priest who has aroused the fury of the Vatican for dismissing the doctrine of original sin and denouncing the church as a dysfunctional family; Walker Railey, the rising star of Dallas's Methodist church, who, at the pinnacle of his success, was suspected of attempting to murder his wife; and Will Campbell, the eccentric liberal Southern Baptist preacher whose challenges to established ways of thinking have made him a legend in his own time. By letting us listen to their voices and see the individuals in all their complexities, Lawrence Wright has written a richly fascinating book about the passions, triumphs, and failures of the life of faith.

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