Top positive review
Not what I thought it was, but still great.
Reviewed in the United States on January 10, 2019
I'll answer some of the questions I had before I bought this book.
1. Is this the best book to learn about everything that happened on 9/11?
Actually, no. This book doesn't spend a lot of time covering 9/11, surprisingly. In fact, it doesn't mention it much until the final chapter or so. But it doesn't really claim to either. The subtitle is 'Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11.' This book is the buildup to 9/11. The why, more than the what. Why Al-Qaeda was formed? Why was America the target? Who was Osama bin Laden, really? If you are looking to find details of the hijackings, the planning and stories surrounding 9/11/2001, this is not your book.
2. Will this information heavy book be able to keep me interested?
Absolutely, yes. This book is extremely readable. It was the rare book that I never wanted to end. I would find myself closing it early because I wanted to save more for later. The growth of Al-Qaeda and bin Laden is fascinating. As atrocious and unforgivable as their actions were, I could find myself sympathizing for their cause at times. Minus a few unfortunate events, everything could have turned out so differently. But I guess that's how the past always seems.
3. Is this book deserving of the Pulitzer?
In my humble opinion, yes. It blows my mind to think about how the author managed to get all of this information. It's so detailed, so interesting. He must have some great contacts. And the book is written in a very matter-of-fact style. It never gets opinionated which is refreshing considering how tempting it must be due to the subject matter. Some books I read, and forget the author's name a couple of weeks after I finish it. Lawrence Wright is one I won't forget and will check out again. ('Going Clear' is great too, actually.)
To sum things up, this was not the book I was looking for, but it was great regardless. If you have any interest in the history of Al-Qaeda, definitely pick up this book.