Peter Bergen is a journalist well known for his knowledge of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. Here he presents an "oral" history by piecing together documents and interviews into what he considers a narrative whole. For the most part there is nothing new here that hasn't already been out in the public domain. And there is very little analysis. It is basically a group of documents strung together with commentary from Bergen.
For me, this style just doesn't work. It's not a very pleasant reading experience. And while the narrative hangs together well - Bergen would have been better off to write a narrative history of bin Laden with deeper analysis. That would have taken a bit more time and work to complete, but it would have served the reader much better.
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Doug Baker (cdbaker)
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