Steve Coll talks about his new book with Michael “Anonymous” Scheuer

Steve Coll, author of Ghost Wars, has a new book out entitled The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century.  I am reading the book now myself and hope to do a longer post about it when I’m done.  In the meantime, I really encourage anyone interested in Saudi Arabia or in issues of Islam, modernity, terrorism, the U.S.-Sa’udi relationship,  etc. to watch this CSPAN BookTV interview of Steve Coll by Michael Scheuer, the former CIA head of the Bin Laden unit, who has authored several books post 9/11.

Steve Coll has done a ton of research for this book, and Mr. Scheuer is (to me at least) quite an interesting character with an interesting perspective himself.

The CSPAN interview can be watched here.

6 Responses to “Steve Coll talks about his new book with Michael “Anonymous” Scheuer”

  1. AbuSinan Says:

    Sounds like one I’ll need to pick up.

  2. Brendan Says:

    Thanks for the BookTV link. Going to listen now, and I look forward to your thoughts on the book, which I’d also like to read.

    You might also enjoy his interview on Fresh Air.

  3. Brendan Says:

    Having watched the video, I’ll say thanks again. I’ll also note that the Fresh Air interview covers different ground, so both are worth your time.

  4. Musa Maguire Says:

    I just finished The Looming Tower so I am reluctant to read Coll’s book now. Let me know how it is and maybe I”l pick up the paperback.

  5. abunooralirlandee Says:

    As salaamu ‘alaykum Musa,

    InshAllaah I’ll have something up soon. I’m trying to fight my natural inclination which can either be described as perfectionism or procrastination depending on how charitable one wants to be which makes me reluctant to put things up, always thinking somehow in my mind that “I’ll do it really properly but later” Instead, my hope is to start using the blog to get up some thoughts, ideas, responses I have to things (mostly books ’cause I’m not that social of a person) even if they are not in any type of polished form. That way, I can get some feedback and if nothing else won’t lose ideas or streams of thought the way I usually do when I don’t put them down in writing.

    By the way, have you read Muslim Rebels by Jeffrey Kenney? I’m also working on that and it seems fascinating. It’s about Radical groups in Egypt, but it seems interesting in that the idea behind it is not so much to talk about the radicals or militants but talk about the way the concept of the Khawarij as an archetype dominates public discussion from both religious and political authorities and used as a way to prevent the societal issues which result in violent behavior from being addressed.

    What’d you think of Looming Tower? Are you reluctant to pick up Coll’s piece because you’re reluctant to start another long book or just sick of reading about “militant Islam/Al-Qa’ida etc.”?

  6. Musa Maguire Says:

    I really enjoyed Coll’s Ghost Wars, so I would like to read it at some point. However, The Looming Tower goes into so much of bin Laden’s personal history that I fear it would be much of the same. I’m always reading a long book, so it’s definitely not that.f

    I didn’t expect to like Looming Tower, but I started reading it at Barnes and Noble one night and had to buy it. It is well-written, but also extremely well researched. It gives a very human portrait of the whole jihadist movement, so you can really see where and how certain key figures went astray. It is definitely not a caricature of evil.

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