The Bin Ladens

The Bin Ladens

An Arabian Family in the American Century

Book - 2008
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The Bin Ladens rose from poverty to privilege; they loyally served the Saudi royal family for generations--and then one of their number changed history on September 11, 2001. Journalist Steve Coll tells the story of the rise of the Bin Laden family and of the wildly diverse lifestyles of the generation to which Osama bin Laden belongs, and against whom he rebelled. Starting with the family's escape from famine at the beginning of the twentieth century, through its jet-set era in America after the 1970s oil boom, and finally to the family's attempts to recover from September 11, this book unearths extensive new material about the family and its relationship with the United States, and provides a richly revealing and emblematic narrative of our globally interconnected times.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2008.
ISBN: 9781594201646
Characteristics: 671 p., [8] p. of plates :,ill. ;,25 cm.


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Sep 04, 2011

Sometimes, there are some things that put me off about a book. Many of them are obvious within the first few pages of the Bin Ladens. The conspicuous consumption, the high living on the part of those portrayed in the book. And there's the fastidious nature of the book itself --- sort of a litany of events. Maybe the rest of you liked it, but for me it was a distinct turn-off. This was a book I could put down --- fast. There are lots of other books on the library shelf and I'm going to read them instead.

debwalker May 02, 2011

In this family epic, Mr. Coll, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, creates a psychologically detailed portrait of Bin Laden and his relationships with his father, Muhammad, who made a fortune in Saudi Arabia as the king’s principal builder; and his older brother Salem, a British-educated, music-loving playboy, who used to organize family expeditions to Las Vegas. Mr. Coll suggests that Bin Laden’s turn to war against the United States was not inevitable, but the result of many factors. Those included his worsening relationships with the Saudi royal family and his own relatives as well as growing anger at America, which had pressured the government of Sudan to expel him from the country (where he raised horses and sunflowers on a farm while training jihadis) and send him into exile in Afghanistan in 1996.

LocketLibrarian May 02, 2011

I read this in 2009, and it has stayed with me. This is an in depth look at where Bin Laden came from, and the family that shares his name, but not necessarily much else.

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Sep 10, 2012

ernestt thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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