Book Review: The Looming Tower, Al-Qaeda’s Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright
The Looming Tower was the winner of the 2007 Pulizer Prize as well as being chosen as the book of the year by The Times, Evening Standard, Economist, Sunday Times, Daily Mail, the list goes on…
Lawrence Wright does an excellent job of writing an unbiased look at the events leading up to the tragedies that took place on 9/11. The factual and unbiased way in which the book is written engrosses the reader and allows for the dissemination of information on a very sensitive and emotional topic. The book is based on fact, as Wright knows them, and gives a great deal of insight into the multiple errors and oversights of the American government in the years leading up to the attack. The Looming Tower provides a look at many of the men and women within the American government and how red-tape within the various agencies prevented information sharing during this period. There is also a great deal of research into the bureaucracy and egos of individuals and agencies, allowing the reader to get to know some of the main characters and understand the amount of work and self-sacrifice that these officials dedicate to their professions.
The unbiased view allows the reader to better grasp, if not understand, the motivation behind the terrorist organizations that have been behind a multitude of acts of violence and destruction in the recent past. There is a tremendous amount of information and description of the players within Al-Qaeda, and the history of the many organizations which have evolved over the past decades. From a historical perspective there is clear and precise look at the Saudi regime, including their relationship and issues in dealing with Osama bin Laden, during this period and the turmoil these groups have caused within the nations of Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Afghanistan. At the same time Lawrence Wright is able to weave a look at the families of these terrorists into the book, giving additional insight into the many people, worldwide, that are effected by these groups.
This is a must read that is able to concisely cut through propaganda and provide a factual account of the many tragedies caused by these groups, while highlighting the short-comings of American government bureaucracy and how it prevents those dedicated to fighting terrorism from doing their jobs.
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