Articles

By Clare Lochary
Hoya Staff Writer

Before Sept. 11, generalizations and vague ideas of foreign policy satisfied the average American’s curiosity about Middle Eastern culture. But since the devastating attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, interest in these subjects spiked dramatically, prompting a frenzied media search for quick answers to America’s questions.

Osama bin Laden, argues Peter Bergen in Holy War, Inc., used corporate-management techniques to turn al Qaeda into the world’s preeminent terrorist organization

Last February, a small publishing house in Ardsley, N.Y., came out with a 170-page paperback by a pair of little-known scholars from a Washington think tank. Its $17.50 price tag seemed a bit steep, and between February and September, Transnational Publishers sold a mere 300 copies of Usama bin Laden’s al-Qaida: Profile of a Terrorist Network, by Yonah Alexander and Michael S. Swetnam.

Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden. BY PETER L. BERGEN. New York: Free Press, 2001, 300 pp. $ 26.00.

The title makes a point: Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda has the border-transcending reach of a multinational corporation with managerial skills to match. Holy War, Inc. is a first-rate account drawing on the author’s years of hard journalistic slogging.

HOLY WAR, INC.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden, by Peter L. Bergen. Read by the author, 4 1/2 hours, abridged, Simon & Schuster Audio, $25.

A more important book is not going to be published anytime soon. Peter Bergen, CNN’s terrorism analyst, not only gives us a riveting read about Osama bin Laden, but he carefully builds the background behind the ticking terrorist time bomb that exploded on Sept. 11. Bergen (along with CNN’s Peter Arnett and Peter Jouvenal) interviewed bin Laden in 1997. He’s reported about Muslims and the Middle East since 1983. But this is not a recycling of sketchy profiles. Bergen, born in Minneapolis, raised in London, offers fresh facts and wraps the crucial history of today’s terrorism around the story of the world’s most wanted man.

Friday, Nov 30, 2001 The Week

HOLY WAR, INC.: INSIDE THE SECRET WORLD OF OSAMA BIN LADEN Peter L. Bergen (Free Press, $ 26) The locustlike clicking of keyboards has reached a deafening pitch in recent weeks as quickie bin Laden books are pounded out by the bushel. Poking through the noise is this four-years-in-the-making effort by CNN terrorism analyst Bergen, who has not only interviewed the al-Qaeda leader but spent significant time in Afghanistan and the surrounding environs.

I am no Philip Roth fan, but I found The Human Stain (Vintage pounds 6.99, pp384) brilliantly structured, coupling a certain darkness with really surprising twists. Peter Bergen’s Holy War Inc (Weidenfeld & Nicolson pounds 18.99, pp302) is a brilliant insight into the compromise…

Wednesday, Nov 21, 2001 Holy War, Inc. By Peter L. Bergen

“The airwaves quickly filled with blathering bloviators, who called this an attack on ‘the American way of life,’ ” writes Peter L. Bergen in the afterward of his intelligent and witty (who would have thought?) exploration of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. In such a spirit, I’m going to do everyone a favor and not make any 9/11-summing-up statements, and just tell you that Bergen has a wonderful ear for the absurd and a great sense of humor, is a marvelous storyteller and a companionable escort on this journey into bin Laden’s world.

Wednesday, Nov 21, 2001 The holy warrior

The holy warrior The most entertaining of current books on Osama bin Laden paints him as a devout, charismatic CEO of worldwide terror. – – – – – – – – – – – – By Laura Miller Nov. 21, 2001 | Without a doubt, Peter Bergen’s “Holy War, Inc.” is the most entertaining of […]

If any good could possibly emerge from the tragedies of Sept. 11, it would be that regular Americans develop more of an interest in the world beyond their borders. Yes, U.S. diplomats, government workers, think-tank dwellers and academics possess a more global perspective. But not until 9/11 did serious books on Islam and Afghanistan become sellouts at chain bookstores.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Monday, November, 20, 2017 Understanding Proxy Violence in the Arab World and Beyond: Fordham, NYC

Wednesday, December, 06, 2017 Making Sense in a World of Trouble, Leidos, Reston, VA

Wednesday, December, 13, 2017 CENTCOM conference, Baghdad, Iraq

Wednesday, January, 24, 2018 Jaipur Literary Festival, Diggi Palace Jaipur, India

Monday, February, 19, 2018 2018 Global SOF Symposium, Tampa, Florida

Monday, April, 09, 2018 Future of War conference, ASU and New America, Reagan Building, DC

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