The Looming Tower
by Lawrence Wright
The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright is a detailed narrative history of the events leading to 9/11, based on five years of research and hundreds of interviews. Find out below why it is one of Five Books’ most recommended books.
Recommendations from our site
“Reading this one book gives you an excellent grasp of the human story and the context from which al-Qaeda emerged.” Read more...
Audrey Kurth Cronin, Political Scientist
“Former counterterrorism agent John O’Neill, who died in 9/11, is the hero of this book. He played a central part in trying to take Al-Qaeda apart.” Read more...
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Peter Bergen, Journalist
“Wright looks at the linkage between the Egyptian Jihad and Al-Qaeda. It is a worthwhile book to read to try to understand the whole problem.” Read more...
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Lloyd Gardner, Historian
“If anybody wishes to understand what Al-Qaeda is, where it came from and what it is trying to do, I think that this is the key book to read.” Read more...
Peter Taylor, Broadcaster
“It is a history of radical Islamism and the road to 9/11. It also explores the failure of the CIA to share vital information with the FBI that might have allowed them to unravel the plot.” Read more...
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Simon Conway, Novelist
“This is a fantastic account of the origins of al Qaeda, the individuals who laid the foundations of the organisation and why they carried out 9/11.” Read more...
Mary Habeck, Political Scientist
“The title is a quote from the Quran: ‘Wherever you are, death will find you, even in the looming tower.’ He did five years of research and met over 600 people. It is a vast research on how we arrived at 9/11, the circumstances and the mindset. It has a huge scope. He studies the socio-economic background to 9/11 and the people who knew Osama. He had 6,000 pages of notes” Read more...
Yosri Fouda, Journalist
The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright is a detailed narrative history of the events leading to 9/11, based on five years of research and hundreds of interviews. It is one of Five Books’ most recommended books.
Narrator: Lawrence Wright
Length: 16 hours and 31 minutes
The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright is one of our most recommended books. It charts the development, beginning in Egypt decades earlier, of the ideology that produced Al Qaeda and led to the attacks on the Twin Towers. It’s a great read and won a Pulitzer Prize. The Taliban is not the central focus of the book, but it’s important background as to why Afghanistan became the home of Al Qaeda and the focus of US military attention in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.