The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century

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Penguin, Apr 1, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 688 pages
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The rise and rise of the Bin Laden family is one of the great stories of the twentieth century; its repercussions have already deeply marked the twenty-first. Until now, however, it is a story that has never been fully told, as the Bin Ladens have successfully fended off attempts to understand the family circles from which Osama sprang. In this the family has been abetted by the kingdom it calls home, Saudi Arabia, one of the most closed societies on earth.

Steve Coll’s The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century is the groundbreaking history of a family and its fortune. It chronicles a young illiterate Yemeni bricklayer, Mohamed Bin Laden, who went to the new, oil-rich country of Saudi Arabia and quickly became a vital figure in its development, building great mosques and highways and making himself and many of his children millionaires. It is also a story of the Saudi royal family, whom the Bin Ladens served loyally and without whose capricious favor they would have been nothing. And it is a story of tensions and contradictions in a country founded on extreme religious purity, which then became awash in oil money and dazzled by the temptations of the West. In only two generations the Bin Ladens moved from a famine-stricken desert canyon to luxury jets, yachts, and private compounds around the world, even going into business with Hollywood celebrities. These religious and cultural gyrations resulted in everything from enthusiasm for America—exemplified by Osama’s free-living pilot brother Salem—to an overwhelming determination to destroy it.

The Bin Ladens is a meticulously researched, colorful, shocking, entertaining, and disturbing narrative of global integration and its limitations. It encapsulates the unsettling contradictions of globalization in the story of a single family who has used money, mobility, and technology to dramatically varied ends.

 

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The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This is one of the most comprehensive and up-to-date books in English to tell the rags-to-riches story of the Arabian Peninsula's house of Bin Laden. In a fascinating read, Coll (former managing ... Read full review

The Bin Ladens

User Review  - lsrva - Overstock.com

Book gives depth to a family greatly misunderstood. Few families have had the stamina to persist. Coll weaves the details in a managable flow. Read full review

Contents

22 THE PROPOSAL
23 KITTY HAWK FIELD OF DREAMS
PART THREE
24 WRITERDIRECTORPRODUCER
25 LUMP SUMS
26 AMERICA IN MOTION
27 THE SWISS ACCOUNTS
28 A ROLLSROYCE IN THE RAIN

4 THE GLORY OF HIS REIGN
5 FOR JERUSALEM
6 THE BACKLASH
7 A MODERN MAN
8 CROSSWIND
PART TWO
9 THE GUARDIANS
10 YOUNG OSAMA
11 REALM OF CONSPIRACY
12 THE RISING SON
13 DISCOVERING AMERICA
14 THE CONVERTS ZEAL
15 WIRED
16 THE AMUSEMENT PARK
17 IN THE KINGS SERVICE
18 ANXIETY DISORDER
19 THE GRINDER
20 THE ARMS BAZAAR
21 OFF THE BOOKS
29 THE CONSTRUCTION OF EXILE
30 HEDGE FUNDS
31 A TROJAN DESK
32 THE AESTHETICS OF WORSHIP
33 ONE PHONE ONE WORLD
34 LAWYERS GUNS AND MONEY
35 BIN LADEN ISLAND
PART FOUR
36 THE NAME
37 PUBLIC RELATIONS
38 BRANDS
39 SO WHAT?
40 IN EXILE
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
NOTES
BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Steve Coll is most recently the author of the New York Times bestseller The Bin Ladens. He is the president of the New America Foundation, a nonpartisan public policy institute headquartered in Washington, D.C., and a staff writer for The New Yorker. Previously heworked for twenty years at The Washington Post, where he received a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism in 1990. He is the author of six other books, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller Ghost Wars.

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