The history of 20th and 21st century Islamic terrorism is still being written, but contenders will have to labor mightily to best Lawrence Wright’s 2006 achievement, a thoroughly researched and incisively written account linking the origins of post – World War II radical Islam all the way through to the 9/11 attacks and the wars that followed. No book better describes the toxic combination of postcolonial mismanagement of the Middle East, opportunistic and committed religious zealotry, and the U.S. neglect, miscalculation and inattention that allowed al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups to grow into one of the defining geopolitical movements of our age. In an area of inquiry when speculation and conventional wisdom too often take the place of solid reporting, Wright’s work stands out in particular for being the best, most gripping psychological profiles and biographies of Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and other leading figures of Islamism.
Autobiography / Memoir
Self-Help / Instructional