Osama Bin Laden

Osama Bin Laden

Hardback

By (author) Michael Scheuer

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
  • Format: Hardback | 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 145mm x 211mm x 28mm | 440g
  • Publication date: 26 February 2011
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0199738661
  • ISBN 13: 9780199738663
  • Sales rank: 161,216

Product description

9/11 almost instantaneously remade American politics and foreign policy. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Patriot Act, water boarding and Guantanamo are examples of its profound and far-reaching effects. But despite its numental impact-and a deluge of books about al-Qaeda and Islamist terrorism-no one has written a serious assessment of the man who planned it, Osama bin Laden. Available biographies depict bin Laden as an historical figure, the mastermind behind 9/11, but no longer relevant to the world it created. These accounts, Michael Scheuer strongly believes, have contributed to a widespread and dangerous denial of his continuing significance and power. In this book, Scheuer provides a much-needed corrective-a hard-headed, closely reasoned portrait of bin Laden, showing him to be a figure of remarkable leadership skills, strategic genius, and considerable rhetorical abilities. The first head of the CIA's bin Laden Unit, where he led the effort to track down bin Laden, Scheuer draws from a wealth of information about bin Laden and his evolution from peaceful Saudi dissident to America's Most Wanted. Shedding light on his development as a theologian, media manipulator, and paramilitary commander, Scheuer makes use of all the speeches and interviews bin Laden has given as well as lengthy interviews, testimony, and previously untranslated documents written by those who grew up with bin Laden in Saudi Arabia, served as his bodyguards and drivers, and fought alongside him against the Soviets. The bin Laden who emerges from these accounts is devout, talented, patient, and ruthless; in other words, a truly formidable and implacable enemy of the West.

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Author information

Michael Scheuer was the chief of the CIA's bin Laden unit from 1996 to 1999 and remained a counterterrorism analyst until 2004. He is the author of many books, including the bestselling Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terrorism. He lives in the Washington, DC area.

Review quote

The best and fullest characterization of the man and Al Qaeda ... a first-class study ... well-argued and written for a broad audience. Choice definitive biography Scotland on Sunday ...a needed corrective to most of the airy generalisations about bin Laden and his followers. Financial Times A fire-breathing denunciation of U.S. counterterrorism policy. Julian Borger, The Guardian