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Extended Audio Sample The Siege of Mecca: The Forgotten Uprising in Islam’s Holiest Shrine and the Birth of Al Qaeda Audiobook, by Yaroslav Trofimov Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (456 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Yaroslav Trofimov Narrator: Todd McLaren Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2007 ISBN: 9781400175345
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In The Siege of Mecca, acclaimed journalist Yaroslav Trofimov pulls back the curtain on a thrilling, pivotal, and overlooked episode of modern history, examining its repercussions on the Middle East and the world. On November 20, 1979, worldwide attention was focused on Tehran, where the Iranian hostage crisis was entering its third week. That same morning, gunmen stunned the world by seizing the Grand Mosque in Mecca, creating a siege that trapped 100,000 people and lasted two weeks, inflaming Muslim rage against the United States and causing hundreds of deaths. But in the days before CNN and Al Jazeera, the press barely took notice. Trofimov interviews for the first time scores of direct participants in the siege, and draws upon hundreds of newly declassified documents. With the pacing, detail, and suspense of a real-life thriller, The Siege of Mecca reveals the long-lasting aftereffects of the uprising and its influence on the world today.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Action-packed…[Trofimov] combines political analysis and breathless narrative to describe the deadliest terrorist attack prior to 9/11.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Fascinating…remarkable…Anyone can read The Siege of Mecca, and everyone should.”

    Washington Post

  • “A gripping, highly informed narrative of this momentous event.”

    Financial Times

  • “[The Siege of Mecca] begins with all the menace of a political thriller…Riveting.”

    Condé Nast Portfolio

  • A Washington Post Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bridget | 2/17/2014

    " Should be very very interesting. Non fiction by the way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris Shaffer | 2/16/2014

    " This book is a masterful work - easy to read and very infromative about the birth of alQaeda - you may never really know just how incompetent the Carter administration was in dealing with foreign policy - after reading this book there is no doubt. The instability we are dealing with now - including the terrorist acts that lead up to 911 clearly have their foundation in the blundering our nation's chief executive and staff were reponsible for in 1979. The Saudi's are not blameless either. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stephanie | 2/16/2014

    " Despite being a very small book, it took an unseemingly long time to get through. Interesting factual information, but too many details on each person with little to no character development. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 2/4/2014

    " An interesting and well-written account of a very significant event whose importance was not recognized at the time and has since been all but forgotten by the West. The author effectively puts the event in the context of the other contemporary occurences, e.g. the Islamic revolution in Iran and subsequent US hostage crisis, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, etc. and reveals a signifcant inflection point in the history of the Middle East which accelerated the emergence of violent Islamic extremism on the world stage in the decades to follow. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Khalid | 1/20/2014

    " A spellbinding thriller, packed with vivid details, it illuminates a little-known hostage crisis in Mecca that helped give rise to Al Qaeda. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 1/15/2014

    " This is a well written and thoroughly fascinating true account of an event that occurred in 1979. It was out of the group which perpetrated this event that al qaeda grew. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gdupe1 | 1/7/2014

    " Very informative on a subject I know far too little on. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dan | 12/21/2013

    " Book describes the violent takeover of the Grand Mosque in Mecca Islam's holiest shrine by Muslim (Sunni / Wahabbi) fundamentalists in 1979 along with the regional impacts on both Shia and Sunni Iran and Pakistan. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rob Gordon | 4/24/2013

    " Wow - what a story, full of suspense, fascinating detail about the muslim world. Loved this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Giyanto | 11/19/2012

    " Review menyusul:D "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shereen | 9/21/2012

    " An excellent book and very gripping. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Parekh | 8/29/2012

    " Provides perspective and context to 9/11 and beyond. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adam | 6/9/2012

    " I would recommend this book to anyone regardless of one's level of interest, or lack thereof in the Middle East. Trofimov's prose are engrossing and throughly enjoyable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tian Tian | 12/9/2011

    " A very easily digestible book about one of the most pivotal moments in modern Islamic history that gave birth to the radical Islamic movements we see shaking the world today. Highly relevant, historically significant, and an eye opening read-- awesome book! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christopher | 9/10/2011

    " An important and under-reported topic to be sure, but the book's hyperventilating tone, stilted, pre-ordained conclusions, and occasionally weak connective tissue ("the birth of al-Qaeda" portion is less than 10 pages and only tenuously connected to the siege) get in the way. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christopher | 2/23/2011

    " An important and under-reported topic to be sure, but the book's hyperventilating tone, stilted, pre-ordained conclusions, and occasionally weak connective tissue ("the birth of al-Qaeda" portion is less than 10 pages and only tenuously connected to the siege) get in the way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aaron | 5/28/2010

    " Trofimov's political analysis is pretty thin and prone to sweeping generalizations. The event is interesting and some of his arguments held up, but his description of action read like someone wishing, oh so badly, to write the next Black Hawk Down, but he can't pull it off. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adam | 4/22/2010

    " I would recommend this book to anyone regardless of one's level of interest, or lack thereof in the Middle East. Trofimov's prose are engrossing and throughly enjoyable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Khalid | 2/14/2010

    " A spellbinding thriller, packed with vivid details, it illuminates a little-known hostage crisis in Mecca that helped give rise to Al Qaeda. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Richard | 10/11/2009

    " for me this book explains the lack of western understanding of the modern islamic world through a tragic event for devout followers of islam. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 7/26/2009

    " Provides perspective and context to 9/11 and beyond. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 lita | 5/9/2009

    " dipinjemin palsay

    -----

    One lesson I got from this book is: if you read or hear something provocative, just be wise.

    "

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About the Author
Author Yaroslav Trofimov

Yaroslav Trofimov, an award-winning foreign correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, has extensively reported from Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries. He is also the author of Faith at War: A Journey on the Frontlines of Islam, from Baghdad to Timbuktu.

About the Narrator

Todd McLaren was involved in radio for more than twenty years in cities on both coasts, including Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. He left broadcasting for a full-time career in voice acting, where he has been heard on more than five thousand television and radio commercials, as well as television promos; narrations for documentaries on such networks as A&E, Discovery, and the History Channel; and films, including Who Framed Roger Rabbit?