The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century
Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and author of the national bestseller Ghost Wars, Steve Coll presents the story of the Bin Laden family�s rise to power and privilege, revealing new information to show how American influences changed the family and how one member�s rebellion changed America.
Most reviewers were extremely impressed by The Bin Ladens and found it much more than a supplement to the array of existing Osama biographies. They praised Coll's choice of the family as framing device, which allows him to explore a century's worth of geopolitical intrigue, economic forces, and cultural change in the Middle East while also constructing an engaging personal story that helps explain recent events. A few reviewers named The Bin Ladens as one of the most important books for helping...more
The pioneering brothers came from Yemen to Jeddah with nothing, but a hardworking will and blessing luck in 1925. The elder one, Mohamed Bin Laden b...more
The author pulls you into this family. The reader marvels at the charismatic Salem, who, barel...more
For a book so meticulously researched and well written, there was also one jarring mistake: "In May 2003, Al Qaeda cells inside Saudi Arabia launched a series of mostly ineffectual attacks against the Interior Ministry, American compounds in the oil zones, and against t...more
This book offers greater insight into the experience of Arabs in Middle East through the story of one prominent family. Their story becomes so interwoven...more
I gave a low rating to the book because the analysis was so shallow. Yes, the bin Ladens are rich and like fast planes and cars. I get it. The men have multiple wives, so they tend to have huge families. Many have contributed to jihad in the 1980's when the Soviet Union fought the Taleban in Afghanistan. Does anyone b...more
Again Coll writes an amazing book. This time Coll tackles the subject of the patriarchal business empire of the Bin Ladens. You might have already heard of one of 50+ children by the name of Osama. Osama's life is the tip of the iceberg for family that is as well connected as an family in the entire world based on its ties to the Saudi Royal family.
Coll understands and explains the complexity of the family. I welcome this approach more than someone like Michael Sheuer ("Marchi...more
In the words of an FBI agent who was wrapping up investigations in 2003, there are "millions of Bin Ladens running around, and 99.999% of them are of the non-evil variety."
Their story begins in remote part of Yemen around the turn of the 20th century when Awadh Bin Laden had a borrowed ox accidentally die on his watch. Unable to repay the debt, he fled to a new village and produced two sons of note- Mohamed...more
This is as close to an episode of the American television program, Dallas, as one could find in reality. Perhaps that is what mak...more
This is the 2nd book of Steven Coll's books I have read and he never disappoints. Ghost Wars, an in depth view of the Afghan / Soviet conflict & American involvement which trigger the fall of the Soviet Union. It is easy to see how decisions made during that period directly affected the events of September 11. He has followed it up with this fascinating tale of an Arabian family who rose from obscurity to control a vast wealth and produced the most influential person of our generation, Osam...more
The bin Ladens are famous for spawning the world's foremost terrorist and building one of the Middle East's foremost corporate dynasties. Pulitzer Prize–winner Coll (Ghost Wars) delivers a sprawling history of the multifaceted clan, paying special attention to its two most emblematic members. Patriarch Mohamed's eldest son, Salem, was a caricature of the self-indulgent plutocrat: a flamboyant jet-setter dependent on the Saudi monarchy, obsessed with all things motorized (...more
He is author six books, including The Deal of the Century: The Break Up of AT&T (1986); The Taking of Getty Oil (1987); Eagle on t...more