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Extended Audio Sample The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, by Lawrence Wright Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (6,149 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lawrence Wright Narrator: Alan Sklar Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • Wright's interview-fueled, character-driven approach captures...the complexity of individual actors...as well as the fluid internal dynamics of the often covert terrorist organization.... A perceptive and intense page-turner. Booklist Starred Review
  • “A detailed, heart-stopping account of the events leading up to 9/11, written with style and verve.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “An important, gripping, and profoundly disheartening book.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A perceptive and intense page-turner.”


Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Deirdre | 2/13/2014

    " very important read. informative and incredibly engaging "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Gene Derow | 2/11/2014

    " Highly informative and illuminating narrative of the origins of Al-Qaeda,a real primer for the uninitiated. This book is timely and fascinating. It's masterfully written and an indispensable guide to understanding radical Islamism,it's origins,objectives and zealous adherents. The perfect if not definitive 9/11 book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jeff | 2/9/2014

    " Well-researched non-fictional narrative of the history of the ideas behind Al-Qaeda and its formation and their activity leading up to the 9/11 attacks. Also details the information the FBI and CIA had that would have prevented the disaster had they been willing to share intelligence. Great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Laurie | 1/31/2014

    " If you want to learn more about the beginnings of Muslim extremeism and the causes of 9/11, this is a great book to read. "

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