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The Bin Ladens: Oil, Money, Terrorism and the Secret Saudi World: The Story of a Family and Its Fortune Paperback – 3 Apr 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane; Open market ed edition (3 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846141591
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846141591
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 3.8 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,695,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Riveting... gives us the most psychologically detailed portrait of the brutal 9/11 mastermind yet... a book that possesses the novelistic energy of a rags-to-riches family epic' -- New York Times

'Steve Coll is able to add terrorism and geopolitics to the more familiar ingredients (wealth, power, sex, intrigue) of this all-Arabian soap opera ... his new work, the product of prodigious research, is a rich and fluent portrait of a family and a country and of their deeply conflicted relationship with America ... The book's strength is in capturing the contradictions within a country torn between religion and modernity'
-- Economist

'The book that ought to be read by anyone who really wants to understand the origins of the current crisis... Steve Coll's stunningly researched and grippingly told new book, The Bin Ladens is the kind of history that... sobers as well as enlightens. The author brings formidable credentials to his task.'
-- The LA Times

'This compelling family biography traces the remarkable story of the super-rich clan who brought bling to Mecca and helped create the Saudi culture of excess against which their most infamous son now preaches.'
-- Sunday Telegraph --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'This compelling family biography traces the remarkable story of the super-rich clan who brought bling to Mecca and helped create the Saudi culture of excess against which their most infamous son now preaches.'
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
LYNN PEGHINY played piano most mornings at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Hotel in Orlando, Florida. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Foxylock on 19 Sept. 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining read.Steve Coll chronicles the rise of the Bin Laden family from the beginning of a construction company started by Mohammed Bin Laden an illiterate Yemeni bricklayer to the present day multi faceted empire that still maintains an air of mystery.We all know of the infamous Osama but Steve Coll unearths a world of clever alliances and religious ambivalence that introduces us to much more fascinating characters.We are taken to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia where puritannical religious virtue is the order of the day until the temptations of western culture with all its debauchery is bought by the neverending supply of oil money.This is a story of contadictions about a family torn bewteen zealous religious values and good old fashioned fun!!Who wins? Read it yourself..
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brian S. Meredith on 27 July 2010
Format: Hardcover
Gives a fascinating glimpse into another world which has remained largely hidden from public gaze. I had already read Steve Coll's excellent Ghost Wars so realised it would be based on research rather than gossip. It's not a biography of Osama which may disappoint some readers but my recommendation is that you read this book before embarking on a biography of the most infamous member of the Bin Laden family. That way you'll get some background to the world into which Osama was born. A story of how a penniless labourer from Yemen created both a hugely successful business and a family dynasty in Saudi Arabia from nothing, in a country where patrimony and inherited family connections meant everything.

The dilemmas faced by second and third generation Bin Ladens torn between traditional religious piety and the material excesses made possible by huge wealth is explored with Coll's unnerring neutrality. This book is neither sycophantic nor a sensational exposé, which is what makes it such an interesting read.

If you saw this in a bookshop window you might not be tempted, but this book is so much better than its somewhat penny-dreadful style cover would suggest.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ulrik Jungersen Walther on 24 Jan. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is probably the most well researched publication on the Bin Laden's so far. Steve Coll seems to have had an amazing access to source material form the US, the KSA and Europe.

The book chronicles the rise of the Bin Laden dynasty and does so, whilst being both insightful and balanced. As thus it s a far cry from the more sensationalist books published in the immediate years after 9/11, where any association with Saudi Arabia was subjected to elaborate conspiracy theories. Whilst Coll covers most of the Bin Laden family and their ventures, he also provides an excellent insight into the lives of Saudi royal and merchant families, their love affair with the US and how behaviour has changed as money and country have matured.

This is not a book about Osama (though he is mentioned a lot) but a well balanced account of the Bin Ladens and their large industrial ventures. Though Coll writes very well, I found it at times a little long winded. Also, a strong interest in Saudi Arabian road projects and construction works would not go amiss!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Thank you to the seller for responding I wanted it sent to the netherlands and as a gift. Really appreciate it. As for the product 'terrific" said the recipient
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By F. A. Hunter on 18 Sept. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A fascinating story
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