New Meetup: Book Club: The Looming Towers by Lawrence Wright

From: Dyutiman D.
Sent on: Saturday, July 19, 2008 11:45 AM
Announcing a new Meetup for Prague Spring, NYC Chapter!

What: Book Club: The Looming Towers by Lawrence Wright

When: August 19,[masked]:30 PM

Where: (A location has not been chosen yet.)

Meetup Description: Mark Nazimova suggests this great book

It won the Pulitzer Prize, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and was on the Best Books of the Year lists of the New York Times Book Review, Time, Newsweek, The Washington Post, and the Chicago Tribune. The Economist said it was "the most comprehensive, objective, and readable guide to al-Qaeda's emergence."

It differs from many of the books we've read in that it's not presenting (that I'm aware of, so far) a grand thesis. Rather, it's telling a single story... albeit one with many strands, winding their way through several continents, over the course of fifty years. And it describes the people and events that gave birth to the world we woke up to on 9/11 and which we still live in.

Although the book merely tracks the life of the two lead characters Ayman Al Zawahiri and Osama Bin Laden, it gives a detailed look into the growth of what is generally characterized as "Islamic terrorism" starting with Sayid Qutub and the Muslim Brotherhood. As we know now, Al-Quaeda although most famous is probably no longer the most important actor among these groups, but they all trace their origins in very similar histories studied in this book. Although Wright doesn't draw any conclusions as Mark points out, I was led to form a few based on the narrative from this book. It would be interesting to see what the group thinks.

Here's the Amazon link

and the review from the New York Times

Some of you might also have seen Wright perform at the Town-Hall in his one man play based on this book.

PS: Once the conventions are over, I am thinking of covering McCain and Obama. I am looking for a constructive but contrarian views, for McCain I have chosen Matt Welch's book, but haven't found anything similar for Obama. It has been suggested that the best way to go about it would probably be through articles and news items, but if you happen to know any (not rants) let me know.

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