In the last decade, America's priorities have changed. National security has become the primary concern for citizens and a top priority for government officials. Billions of dollars have been spent fighting the war on terror, and millions more have been spent by private citizens around the globe trying to understand how we got here. Investigative journalist and bestselling author of Holy War, Inc. and The Osama bin Laden I Know Peter Bergen is the authority who can answer that question. One of few Westerners to ever sit down with Osama bin Laden, Bergen is renowned for his analysis of al Qaeda and its evolution over the last decade. Now, he is breaking the story open in a way that readers have never seen before. Bergen picks up where Lawrence Wright's The Looming Tower leaves off. He reveals the details of how al Qaeda has evolved since the 9/11 attacks, and tells the parallel story of how the U.S. government has changed its own course in response. Bergen has unprecedented insight that comes through many channels: internal documents from both al Qaeda and U.S. counterterrorism offices, in person interviews with al Qaeda members of the highest and lowest ranks, hundreds of interviews conducted with senior officials in the White House, Pentagon, CIA and the FBI, and his own experiences on the ground in Afghanistan. A Very Long War will be the definitive account of the war on terror--its failures and successes, the major players, and its likely future.
Peter Bergen is a print and television journalist; the director of the national security studies program at the New America Foundation in Washington D.C.; a research fellow at New York University's Center on Law and Security and CNN's national security analyst. In 2008 he was an Adjunct Lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and he has worked as an Adjunct Professor at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University for several years.
Bergen has reported on al-Qaeda, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and counterterrorism and homeland security for a range of American newspapers and magazines including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Affairs, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, TIME, The Nation, The National Interest, Mother Jones, Newsweek, Washington Times and Vanity Fair. He is a contributing editor at The New Republic. His story on extraordinary rendition for Mother Jones was part of a package of stories nominated for a 2008 National Magazine Award. He has also written for newspapers and magazines around the world such as The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, International Herald Tribune, Prospect, El Mundo, La Repubblica, The National, and Die Welt. And he has worked as a correspondent for National Geographic Television, Discovery Television and CNN.
Bergen is on the editorial board of Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, a leading scholarly journal in the field, and has testified before several congressional committees. He is a member of the National Security Preparedness Group, a successor to the 9/11 Commission and is the editor of the AfPak Channel, a joint publication of Foreign Policy magazine and the New America Foundation that can be found at www.foreignpolicy.com/afpak.
Bergen has traveled repeatedly to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia to report on bin Laden and al-Qaeda. His most recent book is The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda. New York Times book reviewer Michiko Kakutani writes, "For readers interested in a highly informed, wide-angled, single-volume briefing on the war on terror so far, "The Longest War" is clearly that essential book." Tom Ricks also writing in the Times described the book as "stunning."
His previous book was "The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al Qaeda's Leader" (Free Press, 2006). It was named one of the best non-fiction books of 2006 by The Washington Post. "The Osama bin Laden I Know" was translated into French, Spanish and Polish, and CNN produced a two hour documentary, "In the Footsteps of bin Laden," based on the book. Bergen was one of the producers of the CNN documentary, which was named the best documentary of 2006 by the Society of Professional Journalists and was nominated for an Emmy.
Bergen is also the author of Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Bin Laden. (Free Press, 2001). Holy War, Inc. was a New York Times bestseller, has been translated into eighteen languages and was named one of the best non-fiction books of 2001 by The Washington Post. A documentary based on Holy War, Inc., which aired on National Geographic Television, was nominated for an Emmy in 2002. Bergen was the recipient of the 2000 Leonard Silk Journalism Fellowship and was the Pew Journalist in Residence at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in 2001 while writing Holy War, Inc.
In 1997, as a producer for CNN, Bergen produced bin Laden's first television interview, in which he declared war against the United States for the first time to a Western audience. In 1994 he won the Overseas Press Club Edward R. Murrow award for best foreign affairs documentary for the CNN program "Kingdom of Cocaine," which was also nominated for an Emmy. Bergen co-produced the CNN documentary Terror Nation which traced the links between Afghanistan and the bombers who attacked the World Trade Center for the first time in 1993. The documentary, which was shot in Afghanistan during the civil war there and aired in 1994, concluded that the country would be the source of additional anti-Western terrorism. From 1998 to 1999 Bergen worked as a correspondent-producer for CNN. He was program editor for "CNN Impact," a co-production of CNN and TIME, from 1997 to 1998.
Previously he worked for CNN as a producer on a wide variety of international and U.S. national stories. From 1985 to 1990 he worked for ABC News in New York. In 1983 he traveled to Pakistan for the first time with two friends to make a documentary about the Afghan refugees fleeing the Soviet invasion of their country. The subsequent documentary, Refugees of Faith, was shown on Channel 4 (UK).
Bergen has a M.A. in Modern History from New College, Oxford University. He won an Open Scholarship when he went up to New College in 1981. Before that he attended Ampleforth. He was born in Minneapolis in 1962 and was raised in London.