Cover Image: The Rise and Fall of Osama bin Laden

The Rise and Fall of Osama bin Laden

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Member Reviews

First i would like to thank #simonandschuster and #netgalley for the E-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Overall, i found this book very interesting as someone who studies psychology i did find it interesting his early life and how he became exile from his entire family pretty early on due to not agreeing with his beliefs And seeing how those early interactions in life caused him to think the way he did. This book follows his entire life from soon after birth essentially and his family’s life to his death. 

The author Peter Bergen was the first America journalist to be granted a face to face interview with him in mid 1990s for CNN, you can still find it on youtube. It was crazy to hear all the steps that were included in getting that interview which at that point he was already well known among intelligence communities. I also think it is important to note that the author is American and works for CNN and thus will have certain biases when it comes to talking about Osama…and thus can be seen somewhat but overall i thought it was pretty neutral and kept mostly to the facts. 

I know that this book definitely is not everyone cup of tea at all i completely understand that but i did find it interesting reading the thought process, rational, and ideals that existed. If you want to learn more about the radicalization process this is a overall pretty solid book to begin to understand it. 

Although Osama used the religion of Islam as reasoning for his actions mainstream practices of Islam rejects his interpretations and even Saudi Arabia revoked his citizenship due to this fact as well. Islam is a very peaceful religion when practice correctly.
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If the subject of this book wasn't so despicable, I might actually like the book more than I do. I just got through reading another book about the same subject and the facts line up perfectly.
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I have long been fascinated by the power of Osama bin Laden and how he amassed so many followers. This book really helps us understand the radicalization that he went through and others went through.
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Peter Bergen's book is very thorough and details the complexities of Osama bin Laden as one of the most consequential individuals of the last decades. Bergen's writing is precise and efficient, and for the uninitiated reader this is an excellent biography, spanning bin Laden's entire life, with all his social, religious, and personal metamorphosis. My only reservation is that much of this material has already been known and covered in great detail, including by Peter Bergen himself, so those readers expecting significant new insights might be somewhat disappointed. Still, an excellent read!
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I enjoyed Bergen's earlier work on bin Laden; however I don't feel like I learned a lot in this book that I hadn't read before.  Bergen's mission here was to explain why bin Laden attacked the US, but I feel like that a) has pretty much been answered, and b) if this is the objective of his work, he digresses a lot.  

If you are looking for a biography of bin Laden, and don't know a lot of background about him, this is a good book to begin with (especially since it does begin with his death).  It will connect dots that you may not have heard in popular circles or mass media.
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